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Roman Republican Cast Forgeries

The first example of a counterfeit is easy to detect.

The images on the coin are fuzzy, details especially on the reverse are missing. But the most important evidences for a forgery are the tiny cast bubbles all over the surface.

Viewing the edge, you can see a groove. This is a typical evidence for a casted coinThis groove is developed by the 2 moulds attached together, which are not identical in size or centered very well. Furthermore you can see a cast bubble in the groove.
The next example is a bit more tricky.
On the coin there are almost no cast bubbles.
You can see one on the obverse side; it is the dark spot right of the A.
But again, important details, visible even on a worn coin, are missing.

e.g. details on the figures on the reverse.
The typical groove is not as clearly visible as in example #1, but it is there.
The groove is not as deep nor wide, but you can see it as the thin black line.
The forgers tried to hide this groove by working on the coin with a file. Furthermore the coin was polished to remove the traces of casting. Look at the softness of the relief.

This leads us to another evidence of forgeries:

Coins, which circulated a long time, are worn. The higher parts of the coin are flattened. If this is the case, the edge of the coin is worn too. More than other parts of the coin, so the edge is not angular like it would look like if you work on it with a file, the edge is symmetrical and round.

Signs of a cast forgery:

  • cast bubbles
  • cast groove on the edge
  • important image-details missing (which are there even on worn coins)
  • the forgery gets more plastic (lines, letters etc. are thicker ... -> loss of sharpness)
  • all coins with file-marks on the edge are suspect
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