Trying to learn...Tetradrachm

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by James R, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. James R

    James R Active Member

    So I’m not advanced in ancient coin valuation or deciding if a coin is authentic or not. I’m asking because this gentleman has great feedback with graded coins on his page as well. He bought the collection from a veteran in 1991. I think this is real, but again I’d like to get some advice before I spend any money. Thank you I hope I am not becoming burdensome. Though now am noticing the front is darker than the back. 68AF4432-9E15-4F8B-B11D-5A427BD937B6.png

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  3. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    Definitely looks suspicious to me, the toning and the surface looks ‘too good’.
  4. RichardT

    RichardT Well-Known Member

    A shekel of Tyre. Weight and diameter would help as always.

    This type is heavily faked due to it's biblical connections, be careful.

    I do not know enough to offer an opinion. However, I'd not buy this type except from a dealer specialising in ancients.
    medoraman likes this.
  5. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Melkart Tet.jpg
    As RichardT points out weight & diameter would be helpful in guessing if this coin is genuine or fake. It looks to good to be true :smuggrin:. If genuine this coin would auction upwards of $4,000.00.
    medoraman likes this.
  6. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  7. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Andres2 likes this.
  8. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    Most fake sellers have 100% positive feedback on eBay. The more detailed the backstory of where they got this from somebody's uncle who got it in an auction from some little old lady who bought it in Germany in the 1920s and left it to her niece is just a warning sign that it's BS.

    A good backstory is it was sold by a well-known auction house in 2017 and you can look on their website or in a printed catalog and see a photo of the exact coin. Pretty much any other backstory is BS.
  9. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    Every collector should print this up and tape it to their forehead.
  10. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    Curtisimo likes this.
  11. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I agree with all posts here. OP, please start your coin collecting by going to reputable sites like CNG, VCoins, VAuctions. Numisbids is a website listing ancient auctions happening that are from good firms.

    I know good firms are getting really good money for ancients right now, but you know they are real coins. WAY too many fakes out there for someone who is not yet "up to speed" on spotting fakes to easily get burned. Yes, you will pay more, but 20 years from now you will not have an unpleasant experience to learn all of your "treasures" are cheap fakes and you were ripped off.

    Also, read Doug Smith and Warren Esty's both truly excellent beginner websites. I literally read them when I started, and reread them periodically. If you want book suggestions just ask. When starting out collecting ancients, lead with your mind not your checkbook.
    Roman Collector and romismatist like this.
  12. romismatist

    romismatist Active Member

    Wow - I would agree with @Al Kowsky ... great detective work, @Andres2! Pretty much a die match on both sides, except for the filled in "S" and some patination... you CTers continue to impress me!
  13. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Antiquanova has a large catalog of replicas openly sold as what they are for fair prices if you want a replica. Most are available in decent silver marked with a fancy S stamp or (for a much lower price) pot metal/tin that is silver in color that is not marked. The one shown here may be a silver one with the S removed/filled but I suspect it is the pot metal variety which is €8.00 as opposed to €59.00 for the silver one. How many people these days can tell tin from silver? A generation ago, most people could not be fooled by this but today we see many people who eat with stainless steel and have never really experienced silver (or gold judging from the number of posts here by people who thing brass is gold). Their replicas are die struck and vary a bit in terms of centering so you can buy half a dozen and 'prove' they are not cast fakes. Style on their products are not correct but their target market is not people who would see the difference and some are a great deal better than others. In general, the better you know the real thing, the more ridiculous their coins are to your eyes. I consider their Roman replicas ugly and not in the least dangerous but could be fooled by some of the Greek/Celtic/Biblical/Medieval offerings that are not as familiar to me. Someone here made a cabinet with door pulls that look like EID MAR denarii. I find that to be a wonderful use for these items. If you referee sports and want a 'special' flipping coin, consider an €18.00 tin dekadrachm of Syracuse. Certainly the problem of people ignorantly or fraudulently reselling the replicas as genuine is real. We waste a lot of breath here telling people to buy from trustworthy sources and that things too good to be true usually are false. Many of us have been accused of trying to steal grandpa's treasure when we tell someone that the item is fake. The number of drive by requests for information about coins of imagined authenticity in the ~12 years I have been here is a bit scary. Here is one fact: If you feel that an item that has a 10% chance of being real is worth 10% of the 'real' price, you flunked math.
    Exactly! As it is, the coin would make a great drawer pull.
    Curtisimo, Andres2, Egry and 2 others like this.
  14. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    The OP coin is a replica, no question.

    Here's what a genuine example looks like, purchased from CNG many a moon ago.

    14.32 grams

    D-Camera Phoenicia Tyre year 138 (12-13 AD) Shekel RPC Supp 4654C 14.32 g CNG 3-31-21.jpg

    If you're starting out looking at tetradrachms, I think the best approach is to look at the stocks of established, reputable dealers, on Vcoins or MA Shops. There's also Forum Ancients as well. After you have acquired some, and examined many more, you'll get a feel for what constitutes a genuine versus a bogus coin. It does take time to reach this level.

    Now there's absolutely nothing wrong buying a replica, provided that the coin is described as such and priced accordingly. The problem comes in when there's outright deception, misrepresentation and outright mendacity on the part of sellers who exploit the lack of knowledge that new or inexperienced collectors bring with them when surfing eBay, looking for "deals".

    I am not exempt from this group. About 20 years ago I bought a rare 8 reales directly from a seller in Singapore (red flag there). The coin turned out to be a fake. So, I informed the seller, and he agreed to refund the purchase upon return of the coin. I sent the coin back to him and never heard back. I even got a local judge, who was a coin collector, and he agreed to go to the address of the seller to see if something could be worked out (like throwing the guy in jail!) Well, it turns out that the seller did not live there anymore. At least that is what he was told when he visited. That foolish transaction on my part cost me over $3,000.

    There are lots of crooks out there, so it's best to stick with reputable sellers, even if there's a premium attached - it is well worth it.
  15. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    The other option for starting out collecting ancient coins is late Roman bronzes of average or lower condition. If you are buying from eBay, stick with coins that sell for $10 or less. There are a lot of genuine bronze coins that sell in this price range. You are much less likely to get ripped off, and in the unlikely event that you are, it won't hurt as much.
  16. James R

    James R Active Member

    Wow thank you so much! I’m glad to understand this hobby on a deeper level due to your posts. Thank you for helping, let’s turn obstacles into opportunities. Not my words, but great to live by.
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