Calgary Coin

Fake Amphipolis Tetradrachm

fake amphipolis tetradrachm

Enlargement of Obverse

This is a modern fake of an Amphipolis tetradrachm. It was brought into my shop by a party that purchased it from a street vender at Ephesos in Turkey, in June of 2002.

10.14 grams (16.8 is normal)

27.6 x 28.3 mm


Probably lost wax casting of silver


CHARACTERISTICS: This fake, when held in the hands, is not dangerous for several reasons. Because it is far too light and slightly smaller than a genuine example, anyone that is familiar with these will know immediately it is fake. On the obverse there are many raised casting bubbles resulting from air bubbles trapped during the molding process. A quick examination of the edges shows a clear casting seam and edge file marks. The file marks remain where excess metal was removed from the edges. The mold seam only goes part way around the coin and probably remains from the process where the wax model was made.


Very low

Very Low
Low to moderate

Basically, because the style is only fair, the weight is far too low, there are clear casting bubbles, a casting seam, and edge filing, this coin is no danger to any numismatist who physically examines it. However, in an internet auction it could be slightly more dangerous if a poor quality image is intentionally created.

fake tetradrachm softened image

On the main image at the top of this page the coin is clearly fake to the trained eye, but somewhat more dangerous to a novice. On this image I have first reduced the size slightly (about 25%) and then used a softening filter to slightly blur the image and now the casting bubbles and slightly odd surface texture are no longer obvious, and the coin now begins to appear more convincing as a slightly rough original.


close up of face

Image of another Crystalline area

What you see here (and again on the link to another area on the coin) is a highly crystalline core covered with a smooth outer skin. As this coin appears to be lost wax casting, and there are casting bubbles on the outer skin, this is not a case of a smooth skin applied over a core. This coin has been treated by some process that crystallizes the core below the skin in much the same way genuine ancient coins crystallize. If they can crystallize this example in this way, they can do it for any coin and the old rule about crystalline coins normally being genuine can no longer be used.

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