What is it, and what's it worth? Possible Viking Silver Penny?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Nathan B., Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Well-Known Member

    Following my previous post, this is the next coin for which I need help in identifying it and its value. The next post will be my last of this type for a while.


    I have pretty much no idea what this coin is, beyond a suspicion that it might be a Viking silver penny. I don't even know which way is "up" on this coin! The diameter is about 19-20 mm. Help and comments are most welcome--thanks to all in advance.
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    It doesn't look viking to me. I'm thinking feudal or crusade and if so maybe $15-$20. But that's a guess as I only have a few feudal coins.
    Here's one:
    You can always look it up on ac search.
    For your sake I hope it does turn out to be viking.
  4. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    I agree. Its at least not viking in the Hiberno-norse sense
    Nathan B., +VGO.DVCKS and Ryro like this.
  5. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    Charlemagne, AR denier
    + MEDIOL

    Very rare; approx value around 3000 usd if genuine... unsure about that. Looks a bit off.
    Nathan B. and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  6. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    I should note that these coins are often counterfeited. The texture of your coin is a bit grainy. Weight would help, as always. Should be around 1.6 g.
    Probably casting dimples on the obv (the F, the S, below the x)
    Experts as @seth77, @Orielensis, @AnYangMan, @Nap might weigh in.
    Nathan B. and +VGO.DVCKS like this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    All I could contribute to @Roerbakmix's sterling attribution (and caveat about fakes, which I would have completely missed) is that, on a much more anecdotal level, Milan is very uncommon in the online market. Contemporaneous and slightly later ones from modern France are likely the commonest medieval European coins around.
    Nathan B. likes this.
  8. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Ryro. You would definitely know more about this than I would. I was just basing this off this random image I found on Tar Interwebs! ;-) :


    But it seems that this kind of design--the cross inside a small circle with a concentric legend/design was common through the length and breadth of Europe for hundreds of years.
    Bing, +VGO.DVCKS and Ryro like this.
  9. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much, Roerbakmix! I very much appreciate your kindness in making the attribution, as well as the heads up about counterfeiting, and finally inviting other experts to weigh in.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  10. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Well-Known Member

    Thank you, VGO.DVCKS. I appreciate your informative comment very much.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  11. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Well-Known Member

    Thank you again, Roerbakmix. Using a small and very cheap scale, I weighed this coin in at 3.18 g, which is quite different from the 1.6 figure. Not sure what that means, but my dealer friend just bought himself an XRF machine. I will get him to test the coin for its metallic content.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  12. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    By no means an expert in Carolingian coinage but I cannot remember seeing a denier of this type with a pellet in the quarters of the cross. Also those cracks don't really look like cracks, but that might be just an effect of taking the picture through that plastic foil. Maybe you could take the coin out of that flip and perhaps take obverse-reverse pics with the surface of the coin instead of the surface through plastic and if possible a picture or two of the edge of the coin, preferably from the areas where the "cracks" are.
    Nathan B. likes this.
  13. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Well-Known Member

    Thank you, seth77. I took the coin out of its holder to get the two images below--I hope they aren't too blurry:


    Here's one of the rim:


    And another:
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  14. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Well, the unlikely high weight would be a first sign of trouble. Now those edges look soft and the "cracks" seem like the two sides were done separately and then stuck together. I don't think this coin is genuine.
  15. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Well-Known Member

    Thank you, seth77. I'm glad to have the advice of a knowledgeable collector of ancients!

    I completely agree that a coin that weighs 3.18 grams or so when it should weigh 1.6 is almost certainly fake. About that, though, I was wondering if the coin was a higher denomination. 1.6 grams seems pretty light for a coin of this diameter.

    Regarding the "cracks," I think what you are saying is that this coin appears to have been cast, rather than struck, is that right? If Carolingian coinage was struck, then this being a cast coin would be very much a strike against (if you'll pardon the puns) it.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  16. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Nathan B., the seam along the edge of your top photo of the side (2nd, middle one) is unmistakable. Until then, I was still hoping against hope that it wasn't a cast. But, um, Yeah. (Edit: ) ...No, make that Both side views.
    ...And, sure enough, coins ostensibly of Charlemagne, in contrast to his immediate descendants, are routinely through the roof, pricewise (...only Carolingian anyone ever heard of --at least the ones with money), and it's easy to imagine @Roerbakmix being very conversant with fakes in the market. I suspect he was being diplomatic about the graininess of the surfaces, too. Those are looking more suspect the more I look....
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
    Nathan B. likes this.
  17. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    For reasons already outlined by others above, this most likely is a cast forgery, which doesn’t surprise me too much. Many collectors want a Charlemagne and his coins are rare as well as expensive. Thus there are many and sometimes very convincing fakes floating around. Caveat emptor!
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