Calgary Coin

Fake Germanicus Dupondius

Fake Germanicus Dupondius


This is a fairly good fake of a Germanicus depondius of a style of forgery that suggests a lost wax cast of the 19th century.

MANUFACTURE: Lost-wax casting.

SIZE: 28.5 X 29.4 mm.

WEIGHT: 16.03 grams.

FIRST IMPRESSION: Relatively good at first glance but not good enough to pass on any significant examination.




COLLECTOR BUT NOVICE - relatively high

CHARACTERISTICS: The first thing you notice is that in spite of grading VF with a nice strike, the details are much softer than one would expect. This is a common feature on many cast forgeries. An examination of the edge shows clear evidence of a casting seam, even though an attempt was made to hide this seam along much of the edge :

Fake Germanicus Dupondius

There is also clear evidence of a pseudo flan crack at 2 o'clock on the reverse. While not obvious on the image, with the coin in hand it also clear on the obverse directly opposite that on the reverse. But there is no evidence of that crack extending around the edge, or into the coin, as there should be there if the crack was really caused by stress during striking :

fake germanicus fake germanicus

Traces of that crack were probably present on the edge when this example was first cast, but were removed when the edge was "worried" to disguise evidence of a casting seam. This is clear proof that this coin is not genuine.

fake germanicus

The circled area on this image was a corroded area on the original coin this was cast from, but on this specimen is clearly a cast surface, not actually corroded metal.

Next, the driver of this the chariot is holding an eagle tipped staff, but only a small blob of metal is present where the eagle should be, and only traces of the scepter are visible. This shows significant loss of detail in the molding process

Finally, if you look at the metal between the spokes of the chariot wheel, you will see a number of small raised bumps resulting from air bubbled trapped and captured in the rubber mold which is the first step of the lost wax process.

After casting, this coin was "worried" to remove signs of the casting (although only partially successfully), and artificially toned to give it an appearance very similar to how many genuine coins cleaned with 19th century methods look. While a careful examination of this coin shows many features that would individually condemn it as a fake, coins like this still often show up being offered as genuine, and fool many novice collectors and dealers.

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