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Is this a real ancient coin and if so what is it?

We have had this in the family for a long time (60+ years) and no one knows what it is or if it is real. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated. And whether real or fake, what are the markers that indicate such. Thanks in advance.


  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,850 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It is Byzantine but I don't have the expertise in that area to tell you much more.

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  • hawkowlhawkowl Posts: 30 ✭✭

    Sapyx, thank you for the thorough explanation. Is there any way to tell if it is a "counterfeit" It weighs about 1.4 grams less than the example you pointed me to. I imagine that, as those old coins hand-made, there would be some variation in weight, so does that lower weight signify?

    Thanks again for the help.

  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,959 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ancient and Byzantine bronze coins had much less strict weight control than gold or silver, so I wouldn't worry about it. This particular coin type is even worse than most; the catalogue mentions that they are "often found restruck on earlier coins", so as well as making brand new coins, they've taken random older coins (of various weights and sizes) and recycled them by overstriking.

    The corroded-and-cleaned state of your coin may also explain some of the weight difference.

    In general, for a coin like this one, I wouldn't worry about the possibility of a counterfeit. Counterfeit Byzantine are far less likely to be encountered than Ancient Greek or Roman, and when they do occur, they're usually much more identifiable than this one. You're probably more likely to encounter an early Islamic imitation of a Leo III coin than a modern counterfeit of one (and no, yours isn't an Islamic imitation, because those normally have the Christian crosses deleted).

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