VESPASIAN, the elder

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Tigermoth1, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. Tigermoth1

    Tigermoth1 Active Member

    I've happened upon opportunity to obtain my very first ANCIENT ROMAN coin I've identified with the help of WILDWINDS; what do you think?, re: authenticity, condition, ballpark figure of value ... antiqueROMA.jpg
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  3. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    I'm not so sure I like it.

    There's something about it that just doesn't quite look right to me.

    I can't definitively say it's bad. It just has the look of a cast piece to me.

    Is there a seam around the edge?

    And what's that incuse "H" or upside-down "R" beneath the figure on the reverse?

    I'll defer to those more knowledgeable here. Let's just say I'm suspicious, but could be mistaken.
  4. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member


    I do not have good news for you I am afraid.

    First glance at the coin would indicate that it is a cast fake. At a second glance the eye is drawn to the impressed mark at the bottom of the reverse, which looks like an R, which is often used to indicate a Replica.

    A few minutes looking through a fakes database lead me to believe that it is a cast of this known modern fake.


    philologus_1, Ryro, ominus1 and 4 others like this.
  5. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Unfortunately the above posts are correct, the piece is a modern forgery. I hope it wasn't too expensive.

    If you're still interested in a genuine and relatively inexpensive sestertius of Vespasian please PM me. I know of one that is quite suitable.
  6. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I didn’t want say anything because there are people here with far more knowledge than I have, but the coin looked “wrong” to me because of the brassy color. The bronze Roman coins I have seen did not show that much “yellow.”
    Evan Saltis likes this.
  7. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Sestertii were made of an alloy similar to brass known as orichalcum, not bronze.
    Orfew and IMP Shogun like this.
  8. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Indeed. A brassy, yellowish color is not so unusual on a sestertius, so that detail alone would not necessarily be a red flag.

    The softness of the details and lettering, on the other hand- highly indicative of a cast rather than struck piece (not to mention that incuse little “R” or whatever it is)- those rang my warning bells.

    Below: an authentic sestertius of Antoninus Pius, showing the yellowish color of the orichalcum alloy. Note that while this is a well worn coin in modest grade, the details are still better defined and the lettering is crisper than on the cast fake above (now that we seem to have confirmed my suspicions that that’s indeed what it is.)

  9. Tigermoth1

    Tigermoth1 Active Member

    Thank you CT members.
  10. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    @Tigermoth1 welcome to the ancient world!
    Please do not be discouraged about this. This chapter of numismatics offers a lot of joy and fun and there are numerous genuine ancient coins on the market - beautiful, artistic, with historical importance...
    When seeing the coin, I also had a feeling that something is wrong but unfortunately this part - noticing fake coins - is also my weak spot, getting better with time, but still I am not content. So I waited for the experienced collectors to express their opinions.
  11. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    @Tigermoth1 - you did the right thing by asking here first, before taking the plunge. I’d recommend you buy your first ancient from an established dealer, such as the ones on the VCoins site, or FORVM, or CNG, for example. (I’d steer clear of eBay and local sales and flea markets and such, at least initially.)

    Edited to add: by all means, I do hope you take that first step, with reasonable caution. It’s a wonderful area of numismatics. Be cautious, but not discouraged. The learning curve with ancients can be steep, but is quite rewarding and educational. (We’re ALL still learning- all the time.)
    Orfew and kountryken like this.
  12. romismatist

    romismatist Well-Known Member

    At least now you've got your first "black cabinet" coin LOL

    Seriously, there are plenty of affordable authentic pieces out there. I would agree with previous posts that it's better to buy from trustworthy dealers (or Flavian experts like @David Atherton).
    kountryken and lordmarcovan like this.
  13. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    PS- @Tigermoth1 - If you (or anyone else) would like an Ancient Greek or Roman coin at a price that can’t be beat ($0.00 + free shipping!), then come enter and win Prize A in my Giveaway #58! :)
    Ryro and ominus1 like this.
  14. Tigermoth1

    Tigermoth1 Active Member

    Guys, you're WONDERFUL! Thank you for all your guidance. YES, I bought the lot; the COIN in question was part of a lot at auction, and I GOT IT! Whether it's a REPLICANT does not matter. Here's the rest of the LOT in question; paid $40 plus shipping.

    So now I own two REPLICANTS; one by a KNOWN artist, and the other by an UNKOWN!

    Attached Files:

    lordmarcovan and ominus1 like this.
  15. ominus1

    ominus1 ...BE SEEING YOU! Supporter

    as long as you're happy with them....
    Tigermoth1 likes this.
  16. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Well-Known Member

  17. Tigermoth1

    Tigermoth1 Active Member

    That's the COIN that was copied! EXTRAORDINAY, thank you for posting a picture of it. NOW, have you the story behind it?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  18. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Don't get dejected. Everybody buys a fake every now and again. Despite over a year (very little, I know...) of experience, I managed to buy this fake Vespasian. Looking back, it was an OBVIOUS fake but I was excited about the low price and desirable reverse.
    This one turned out to be what is called a "pressed" fake, which emulates the look of a struck coin (not cast), but has a bunch of tells (not the least the extra-smooth fields) that indicate it's a forgery.
    Vespasian AR Denarius Fake.JPG

    I love those NEP RED reverses, and they're usually not very cheap. I ended up getting a very genuine Gallienus version, with different reverse legend.
    Gallienus BI Ant RIC Antioch 603.JPG
    Orfew, ominus1 and Bing like this.
  19. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    If real, the value would probably be about $100, I would imagine. It's not real, so the value is much closer to a buck or two.
  20. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Well-Known Member

    Hi - I was posting a coin with bronze highlights. The one I posted is RIC II, part I (2nd edition) 894 Which is an As. I don’t think the two are meant to be the same issue.
    Etcherman likes this.
  21. Tigermoth1

    Tigermoth1 Active Member

    Among the coins included with this lot, one extra coin, unidentified (except for "UMDL"):

    ancientUMDL 600OBV.jpg

    No legible legend, OBVERSE presents a young man's bust, facing right and laureate; the REVERSE features two figures facing and exchanging or presenting something to each other, LAURELs?; I'm guessing the metal is copper or brass, but there's a break at 6 o'clock on the reverse that has a silver sheen.

    What is it?

    Would appreciate any and all input on this background story.

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
    ominus1 likes this.
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