Calgary Coin

Fake Julia Soaemis Bronze

Fake Julia Soamis


This is a fake of a Julia Soaemis bronze coin from Byblos in Phoenicia.

MANUFACTURE: Electrotype.

SIZE: 24.9 x 25.2 mm.

WEIGHT: 11.95 grams.

FIRST IMPRESSION: Good if from a slighty distance.




COLLECTOR BUT NOVICE - slightly higher if not familiar with electroptypes.

CHARACTERISTICS: The first thing that one notices is that the coin looks to have been cleaned to bare metal and re-toned, with a slightly gloss to the brown toning. This is because electrotypes are made as bare metal and have to be artifically toned. This draws attention, but many genuine ancient coins have been cleaned and toned to look like this.

Julia Soaemis bronze electrotype

There is also, in the circled area, the small very round bump just under her nose is almost certainly results from a trapped air bubble between the coins and the clay when the original coin was impressed. There is also slightly irregular bump just to the lower right of the nose tip that probably results from a bit of clay pulling way with the original coin when it was removed from the clay, although this may also be an impression of a minor encrustation on the original coin.

Julia Soaemis bronze electrotype

What really gives this coin away as a fake, and more specifically an electrotype is this line on the edge where lead solder was used to join the two halves of the electrotype, which is the hall mark of this copying process. This leaves no doubt about the status of this example.

Many such electrotypes were made by museums for study purposes, rather than as fakes to fool collectors. There is a possiblity that the original from which this specimen was copied is published in a museum collection somewhere. If anyone happens to recognize it, and can provide a reference for where it has been published, I would appreciate hearing from them.

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