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Opinions on this Found Tetradrachm Gela Coin with Chain Mail in the center

Go easy on me as this is my First post :D This is my story and I'm sticking to it. I found this coin while I was detecting in Central Ill. It was about 8 inches down and sounded as a Silver coin on my detector. After I brought it home I ran it under some water and gave it a light brushing and the First two pics are what it looked like after the initial cleaning. . Did some research and thought it was a readers digest coin that comes up frequently in searches and photos. After a while I thought I am gonna give it a thorough cleaning so as to see if the word "copy" was stamped into it. I soaked it for weeks on end and used a vibrating toothbrush on it and the results are in the second Two photo's. No copy was to be found. I came across some Reader digest coins and placed the copy on top of my find. My coin is bigger "25mm dia" I have searched all sorts of sites and looked at Eastern European fakes and have not come across one with the chainmail in the center. I looked at numerous fakes to no avail. I think this coin is a scarce counterfeit, and a really old one. 8" down and all that crud on it and looks to have a lot of wear which makes me believe it is not a 1990's Readers Digest coin. It is not a mass produced copy in my opinion. The coin looks to have gold tone still on it in places, It was a neat find and if i can get some history of the maker, I may slab it just for informative purposes if that is possible or maybe a certificate telling what it is...Thanks for any help in this matter. Bob


  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,966 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hello and welcome.

    Sorry, but what you have here is essentially identical to the mass-produced brass replica of a silver tetradrachm from Gela - the "Reader's Digest coin". The giant pit in the centre of the obverse (where your "chain mail" is) is a pit deliberately placed on the replicas so a blob of glue can be attached there, so the replica could then be glued onto a piece of cardboard. Genuine ancient coins, and any other hypothetical counterfeit coins of this same type, should not have this pit there.

    I do not know how many times Readers Digest (or perhaps other similar mass-marketeers) ran this promotion; the lack of "COPY" might be evidence this is from a pre-1973 promotion. But I do not think it is older than 1950.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
  • Can you point me to another copy with chainmail in the center by chance. Massed produced coins should have images available out there. Thanks Bob

  • So I filed an edge of the Readers digest coin and the metal looks similar to my found coin. 75 years in the ground could sink it to an 8"depth as it was found in a farm yard so the soil was less compacted. The wear is what gets me and I will never know what caused that. The chainmail is the key as if it was massed mailed there should logically be more of them out there. I bought 5 of the readers digest coins for a dollar. . I will continue to search forums and ebay for a similar coin with this chain mail glue point. I am also going to search old magazines for this coin promotion . Top pic is the filed coin and the bottom pic is out in the sunlight. If anyone sees one, please post a pic and Thanks for the help.

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