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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Unofficial & BarbaricView Options:  |  |  |   

Counterfeit, Unofficial, Imitative and Barbaric Roman Coins

Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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The legends are mostly off flan. Reverse legend possibilities include LEG XX V V, LEG XX AVG, LEG II PARTH, LEG V [...] S M AVG. The mintmark may be retrograde MC, which is known for Camulodunum (Colchester, England), but no boar standing right types are published for Camulodunum. Perhaps the mintmark is retrograde ML, but that too is unpublished. This was likely struck in an unofficial mint (an ancient counterfeit?). Carausius' legionary boar types are highly desirable, and all seem to be quite rare. We do not know of another specimen of this variety.
RA73285. Billon antoninianus, cf. RIC V-2 82 (R2), Cohen VII 148, Hunter IV 13, Webb Carausius 97 - 99, Askew 151, SRCV IV 13617, aF, green patina, earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off legends, a little rough, weight 3.769 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 45o, unofficial(?) mint, c. 287 A.D.; obverse [IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG?], radiate and draped bust right, early reign 'moustache' portrait; reverse L[EG...], boar standing right, large tusks, prominent ridge of spinal bristles, [reversed C?]M in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $220.00 (193.60)


Agrippa, Military Commander, Friend of Augustus, Grandfather of Caligula, Ancient Unofficial Cast

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This coin is clearly cast and not an official struck mint issue. Many unofficial counterfeits or perhaps semi-offical local imitations were struck and cast in Gaul, especially during the reign of Claudius (up to 50% of the bronze Claudius coins found in some areas), apparently due to shortages of official coinage. This coin was probably cast at that time.
RB88887. Cast bronze as, cf. RIC I Gaius 58, BMCRE II Tiberius 161, BnF II Caligula 77, Hunter I 1, Cohen I 3, SRCV I 1812 (official, Rome mint, struck under Caligula), F, green patina, corrosion, casting seams and sprues, weight 15.775 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial mint, 38 - c. 60 A.D.; obverse M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing a rostral crown; reverse Neptune standing facing, head left, nude but for cloak draped over arms, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical in left hand, large S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $150.00 (132.00)


Roman Republic, Unofficial, c. 169 - 91 B.C.

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Crawford notes, "The very common quadrantes with M and N (as Milan 351) are clearly unofficial."
RR79715. Copper quadrans, cf. Milan 351 (from Crawford appendix p. 309 unofficial issues of bronze coins), Sydenham -, VF, centered on a tight flan, light marks,, weight 4.182 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 135o, unofficial mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, ROMA below, three pellets before, M above; ex FORVM (2006), ex Goodman collection; $125.00 (110.00)


Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.

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This type was minted by and used as currency by tribes outside the Roman Empire. It copied a Roman type issued under Constantine the Great. Some imitative coins of this type are very similar to the Roman prototypes and some are very crude. This coin is closer to the Roman style than many but the illiterate imitations of legends are made up entirely of N's.
ME89938. Bronze barbarous AE 3, For possible prototype see RIC VII Siscia 61 (Roman, official, Constantine the Great, 319 A.D.), VF, overstruck on an official Constantine [II?] (the head of Constantine and part of the legend are visible on the reverse), weight 2.180 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 270o, tribal mint, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.; obverse helmeted and cuirassed bust left, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield on left shoulder; reverse two Victories standing confronted, holding shield over altar; $100.00 (88.00)


Roman Republic, Anonymous (Unofficial?), c. 91 B.C.

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Russo suspects this type may be unofficial because, despite the attractive style, the prow does not include the usual features found on most coins of the period.
RR88352. Copper quadrans, RBW Collection 1244 (unofficial?), Crawford 339/4a, Sydenham 679c, BMCRR Rome 2208, SRCV I 1195, VF, porous, rough, edge splits, weight 2.114 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial(?) mint, c. 169 - 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow right, apotropaic on side, ROMA above, three pellets below; $95.00 (83.60)


Roman Republic, Unofficial, c. 91 B.C.

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In 91 B.C., the tribune Marcus Livius Drusus proposed extending Roman citizenship to allied Italian cities, but was assassinated, leading to the Social War.
RR88243. Copper quadrans, cf. Crawford 339/4c (official), Sydenham 679c (official), SRCV I 1194 (official), RBW Collection -, VF, obverse off center, porous/corrosion, weight 3.181 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 45o, unofficial mint, c. 91 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse prow of galley right, three pellets right, ROMA below; $80.00 (70.40)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Iberian(?) Barbaric Imitative

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RB70583. Copper as, cf. SRCV I 1685, RIC I 431, BMCRE 226, Cohen I 515, BnF I 687 (official, Rome mint, 7 B.C.), F, interesting crude style, nice green patina, edge cracks, scratches, pits on reverses, weight 10.390 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 225o, Iberian(?) unofficial mint, obverse bare head right; reverse large S C; $60.00 (52.80)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Ancient Counterfeits

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Many ancient plated counterfeits have an obverse and reverse that do not match. The dies were likely created using impressions of genuine coins. Two different coins had to be used because producing each die destroyed the coin used to create an impression. The forgers were apparently unconcerned about mismatched types. The silver from the destroyed coins could then be used to make the silver foil for plating.
RS91042. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC II-1 720 for obv. (silver, official, Rome, Sep 90 - Sep 91); RIC II-1 789 for rev. (silver, official, Rome, Sep 95 - Sep 96), F, many platting breaks, weight 2.286 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 95 - 99 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P X, laureate head right; reverse IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, helmeted and draped, thunderbolt in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet behind; $60.00 (52.80)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D.

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Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and to make provision for the future. This ability was considered essential for the emperor and providentia was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the imperial cult. Cicero said that providentia, memoria (memory) and intellegentia (understanding) are the three main components of prudentia, the knowledge what is good or bad or neither.
RS85049. Fouree silver plated denarius, cf. RIC III 19, RSC II 804, BMCRE IV 66, Hunter II -, SRCV II - (official, Rome mint, 10 Dec 180 - 10 Dec 181 A.D.), aVF, well centered, toned, bumps and scratches, edge cracks, copper core exposed in a few spots, weight 2.713 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial counterfeiter's mint, c. 181 - 182 A.D.; obverse M COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse TR P VI IMP IIII COS III P P, Providentia standing half left, head left, wand in right hand over globe at feet, long grounded scepter in left hand; $55.00 (48.40)


Roman Republic, Anonymous, 211 - 206 B.C.

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In 211 B.C., Hannibal marched northwards on the city of Rome in a belated and unsuccessful effort to capture the city. Rome faced the danger of famine, caused by Hannibal's forces and the withdrawal of so many men from farming. The situation was only relieved by an urgent appeal by the Romans to the King of Egypt, Ptolemy IV, from whom grain was purchased at three times the usual price.
RR88016. Bronze quadrans, cf. RBW Collection 228, Crawford 58/6, Sydenham 218c, F, obverse rough, earthen deposits, weight 4.318 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 270o, unofficial(?) mint, c. 211 - 206 B.C.; obverse head of Hercules right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress, three pellets behind; reverse galley prow right, ROMA above, three pellets below, cornucopia(?) before; $50.00 (44.00)




  



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REFERENCES

Cahn, H. "EIDibus MARtiis" in QT 18 (1989), pp. 229-231, 9a, 20a, and 25b.
Campbell, W. Greek and Roman Plated Coins. ANSNNM 75. (New York, 1933).
Crawford, M. "Plated Coins - False Coins" in NC 1968, pp. 55-59, pl. xiv.
Crawford, M. Roman Republican Coinage. (Cambridge, 1974), vol I., pp. 560-565, vol II, p. 570.
Davis, P. "Dacian and Celtic Imitations of Republican Denarii" in The Celator 18-4, April 2004, pp. 6-16.
Davis, P. "Dacian Imitations of Roman Republican Denarii" in Apvlvm Number XLIII/1. (2006).
Davis, P. Imitations of Roman Republican Denarii, website: http://rrimitations.ancients.info/.
Davis, P. & E. Paunov. "Imitations of Republican Denarii from Moesia and Thrace" in Studies Prokopov. (2012).
Lawrence, L. "On a Hoard of Plated Roman Denarii" in NC 1940, pp. 185-189.
Popović, Petar. "Hoard of imitations of the Roman Republican denars from the Belgrade National Museum" in Numizmatikai Kzlny 1974, pp. 7-13 & pl. 1.
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Southerland, C. "'Carausius II', 'Censeris', and the Barbarous Fel. Temp. Reparatio Overstrikes" in NC 1945.
Sydenham, E. "On Roman Plated Coins" in NC 1940, pp. 190-202.
Sydenham, E. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. (London, 1927 1952). pl. xliii-xliv.
Vasic, M. "A IVth and Vth Centuries Hoard of Roman coins and imitations in the collection of the National Museum in Belgrade" in Sirmium VIII, p. 128-129, 6-19.

Catalog current as of Monday, June 17, 2019.
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Unofficial and Barbaric