Calgary Coin

Fake Diocletian aureus

Fake diocletian aureus sold by imperatorial on ebay

This is a modern die struck fake, of a Diocletian aureus, which was offered for sale as original on ebay at the end of April, 2005.

5.25 grams as per the ebay sellers listing.

not provided by the ebay seller.

Excellent (an exact match to the original)

Uncertain, but probably die struck from a false die manfactured from an original coin.


CHARACTERISTICS: This is an excellent fake made to fool both collectors and dealers. It has a slightly soft appearance due to what ever process was used to make the die not capturing the finest details perfectly (one of two characteristics that called it into question in the first place). However it has several flaws in it's over all appearance that are discussed below.


High to very high.

High to very high


Due to the wonders of the internet we were able to locate an image of the the original coin from which the dies for this fake were produced (something one seldom gets to do). The original coin was sold by Numismatik Lanz München on their auction #112, lot #855 on November 25, 2002, an image of which is below (and I stress that the Numismatik Lanz specimen is a genuine coin.). The Lanz specimen is listed at 20 mm, 5.20 grams.

genuine diocletian aureus

The forger created false die from the Numismatik Lanz coin, although at this point I do not know what technique was used to creat those false die. It could have been spark errosion, high tech plastic moldings, or any one of several other possibly methods, but it is not important at this point that we know his techniques. Compare the images below :.

Fake diocletian aureus

Note the circled area on the genuine coin on the left, where the flan is slighty short and curves into the coin. On the fake coin on the right, the flan is fuller at that position and one can see an impression of that inward curved from the original coin. Now look at the reverse where you seen an almost identical feature in the circled areas :

Fake diocletian aureus

This is proof the false dies were created by taking an impression from this exact original specimen. There are other features that confirm this, the most obvious being other areas on the edges of the fake where there is enough metal for the beaded border to be present, but is not. Compare the two coin and you will see those areas corrispond to places on the original were the beaded border was off the flan and so could not become part of the design of the false die. Note that on the orginal the beaded border is complete anywhere there was enough flan for it to be struck up.

We know the genuine coin was at the Lanz auction on November 25, 2002. We also know that the forger had to be in possession of the genuine coin at the point he used it to make his dies. We also know the identity of the ebay seller who was in possession of one the fake. From this, I would think the proper authorities should have enough information to track down the forger.

Kevin Barry of was of significant help in the information presented on this page.

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