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Fake Nerva denarius


Ian
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I bought this on ebay (surprise, surprise). :ninja:

 

918981.jpg

 

First warning sign : private auction. Names of bidders hidden

 

second warning sign : images pretty low grade, but enough to figure out what they are `supposed' to be

 

third warning sign : other coins on sale all appeared to have similar dark toning to them with little `blotchy' patches.

 

fourth warning sign : seller states resident in California..... coins shipped from Germany

 

fifth warning sign : seller charging registered mail rates but shipping `ordinary'

 

I deliberately bought this coin (as i've done on a few other occasions) fully expecting to receive a fake and (sadly) I wasn't disappointed! I was curious to see what method had been used to manufacture it and also to see the extent of the `scam'. I'd previously emailed the seller and asked if he / she guaranteed the items as being genuine. The response was that they could not provide certificates of authenticity but if found to be otherwise they would refund my money. I paid via paypal / credit card, so my small `investment' is recoverable should things turn out bad in that respect.

 

Well, first thing I did when it arrived to day was weigh it. I'd expect the real McCoy to weigh around 3.4 to around - 4.1 grams in about EF condition. This one weighs in at 2.7 grams. Somewhat under weight for its apparent condition (IMHO).

 

I next looked at the colouration. Too `black'...and (oddly) a bit shiny. I thought `either lacquered surface and ink or paint. Certainly not natural colours.' I stuck the coin in the freezer for half an hour then brought it out. Lo and behold, when some condensation formed on it, the moisture `beads' turned black. The `toning' had magically dissolved into the moisture.........ink right enough. Some acetone to a trial area of the surface magically removed the `shine' (ie dissolved the lacquer on the surface).

 

Looking at it next under x 16 magnification I could see much evidence of `filing' (or sanding) coupled with pock marks. On examining the edge VERY closely, I could make out a seam. It was VERY expertly camouflaged, well filed down and had been `toned' to conceal it. The metal used was also very pasty in appearance (when devoid of `ink').

 

So, what we have is a very expertly created cast fake artificially `aged' to make it look real / hide the flaws.

 

I've since been in touch with the seller with my concerns. They claim that they are selling off stuff bought from an antiques dealer and would be happy to provide a refund. In other words `we're just innocent sellers'.

 

Now then, from what I can tell, these guys have sold quite a few coins that appear to me to be equally suspect. The techniques employed appear to have fooled a few people.

 

Should I report this to ebay or just go down the route of `refund' now that i've satisfied my own curiosity on the matter? Personally I think ebay is a waste of time and energy when it comes to reporting `fakes' . I've tried in the past with very poor results. What would you do?

 

Ian

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It would probably work best if you get a few other people to buy some of these coins. If they are all fake, several simultaneous complaints from different people might be enough fpr ebay to do something. Maybe even a letter to the German police.

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It would probably work best if you get a few other people to buy some of these coins. If they are all fake, several simultaneous complaints from different people might be enough fpr ebay to do something. Maybe even a letter to the German police.

 

The `german' connection is probably only a transit point. The set up seems very similar to the Toronto forgers modus operandii.

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NEVER bid on auctions where buyers IDs are kept private...this is to keep people like me from warning them :ninja: Reporting to ebay wont go far...I have done so with poor results.

 

To my mind it is the single biggest `you should avoid this auction like the plague' warning sign there is. ;)

 

The powers that be at ebay continue to allow rogues to flourish by providing these facilities. As such we can only keep repeating the warning and press ebay to either more closely monitor people using these `services' or withdraw the service completely.

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That's a pretty good piece! Other than the unusual looking "tone" and parts of the rim and legends looking a bit funny, there isn't anything really weird about it that would make it stand out.

 

I agree. Visually it is a (nigh on) perfect a match for RIC 16. The `toning' for me was the weak point on a visual level. They haven't got that quite right, which makes the trained eye look closer at and question other smaller `niggles'. I have no doubts that this coin and others from the same stable have already fooled many people. Most wouldn't think of weighing it to check its bona fides.

 

The seam is very expertly concealed and wouldn't be noticed at all without first removing some of the artificial toning. Lets face it, how many brave souls are there who would risk doing that? :ninja:. Even then you need at least x5 to make out the line of the seam. At x16 it stands out like a sore thumb. Definitely in the `dangerous' category IMHO.

 

By the way, the seller has since refunded me in entirety.....before i've even returned the item.

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  • 4 months later...

hi,

 

Cast fake, quite dangerous. Here are two family members..

 

fake_nerva.JPG

 

http://mriess.acm.jhu.edu/castfakes/coins.html

 

"IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS II P P, laureate head right / AEQVITAS AVGVST, Aequitas standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae

 

Cast fakes sold by fakes sellers 'empire_gallery' and 'spes-pvblica' on eBay. The top one sold for $23.50 (Nov. 2005 by empire_gallery) and the bottom one sold for 27.50 EUR (Dec. 2005 by spes-pvblica). Another example (not picturee) sold by fakes seller 'mazagurini' on German eBay for 12.88 EUR (Feb. 2006)."

 

 

My tip: avoid e-bay. Fake pieces are sold AND resold there. It stacks up :ninja:

 

;)

Lex

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Interesting thread. I worry about fake ancients far more than with coins a few hundred years old. Came across a very cogent response on RCC to the basic "How do you tell if its authentic?" by Reid Goldsborough, who is a member here although I haven't seen any recent posts from him.

 

I have seen some controversy around some of his posts, but I think the position stated here is spot on!

 

Not sure if this link will work but you can try:

Link to an RCC post - click this

 

Maybe if you read this, Reid you would be so kind as to repost the content.

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The one benefit of the third party graders has been to greatly reduce the amount of fake modern material. Before 1980 buying US gold and some key dates was much more of a crapshoot. PCGS and NGC are generally not fooled. In ancients slabbing really does not work well so there is a greater chance of a tooled or fake coin in the marketplace. Certainly oe can minimize one's exposure. If you buy from places like CNG, HJB, Freeman&Sear, Glenn Woods, etc you are much less likely to buy a fake and you will never be tricked on purpose. If more collectors bought directly from sources we'd end up with a lot more fakes and ver badly cleaned coins i the marketpace than we do currently.

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yeah, I dont want slabbed ancients..or any coin and I avoid third party grading services on the whole as I have issues with such things that I wont go into. If I had a question about a coin I would ask at the experts at forum (forumancientcoins)...if they thought it was fake...thats a good indication its fake...if I wanted to confirm (or if they are iffy) I would send it to David Sears or one of the other indy authentication experts. Problem with CNG and HJB is the coins are going to be quite a bit more expensive...and even they have sold fakes...but its rare.

 

Before buying any coins, I would check this fakes list and compare:

 

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/index.php

 

In the end...just buy from dealers you know are at least vigilant when it comes to fakes and know what to look for...this wont assure you wont get fakes, but it will help...I get most of my ancients from Vcoins or Forum and rarely but sometimes on ebay and have yet to buy a fake (there are a few good dealers on ebay)...I have bought a few from CNG but paid well over what I should have IMO but without doubt they GREAT coins.

 

I dont think I have ever bought a fake off Vcoins or Forum (or dealers I have learned about from these places like beast coins) but even if you DID get a fake, and most of these dealers arent TRYING to pawn off fakes, they WILL refund and add to the fakes list if one is found as I have seen them do so in the rare cases they have not caught one and sold a fake.

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I dont think I have ever bought a fake off Vcoins or Forum (or dealers I have learned about from these places like beast coins) but even if you DID get a fake, and most of these dealers arent TRYING to pawn off fakes, they WILL refund and add to the fakes list if one is found as I have seen them do so in the rare cases they have not caught one and sold a fake.

 

I've gotten one from Vcoins and when I discovered it my money was promptly refunded with no issues at all. I don't know if I consider CNG overpriced, you pay a premium for premium coins. They are certainly better than Freeman & Sear from a price standpoint IMHO.

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I agree that you pay a premium for premium coins but I have seen what I know to be your more average ancients for well over what I could get the same coin from other dealers for...It seems to me they have a minimum price...nothing under 100 dollars regardless of what it is...but like I said, they do have an outstanding catalog :ninja: I get the catalog on the mail and drool...I am a cheap bastard though so I gots to get the best deal I can...

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