Calgary Coin

Fake Augustus Denarius

Fake Augustus denarius


This is a rather poor fake of an Augustus Caius and Lucius denarius, made by lost wax casting, probably fairly recently.

MANUFACTURE: Lost-wax casting.

SIZE: 17.2 x 18.9 mm.

WEIGHT: 2.78 grams.

FIRST IMPRESSION: Relatively good at first glance, as it looks like a slightly corroded coin, but not good enough to pass on any significant examination.




COLLECTOR BUT NOVICE - relatively high

CHARACTERISTICS: The first thing I noticed when I picked this coin up, was that it felt very light weight, and when weighed was only 2.78 grams. A genuine Caius and Lucius type denarius will usually be between 3.5 and 3.9 grams, and virtually never under 3 grams. The coin appears to be rough from corrosion, but there are a few features that not to be the case.

With a visual examination without magnification, the first thing I noticed was how the edge of the coin has significant very smooth areas, which have no evidence of surface corrosion and which his inconsistent with the coin actually being corroded. This edge is visible on this image :

Fake augustus denarius

The next thing one notices, but under 10 power magnification, is a distinct ridge on parts of the smooth areas of the ridge :

Fake augustus denarius

Even close examination shows that there are very round raised bumps in various places on the coin, which were have marked on these images :

Fake augustus denarius

Fake augustus denarius

Finally, there is a pseudo flan crack which is clearest on this part of the reverse :

Fake augustus denarius

This is a place where the original had a flan crack that went all of the way through the coin to the obverse. But on this example, only the surface textures of the crack are present, and the crack does not actually extend into the interior of the coin. This is a common feature on cast denarii when the quality of the casting is fairly poor, as on this example.

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