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Fake Trajan Denarius

fake trajan denarius

Enlargement of Obverse

Enlargement of Reverse

This is a modern fake of a Trajan denarius, manufactured in the 20th century most likely in Eastern Europe, made specifically to sell into the collector market.

WEIGHT: 3.01 grams

SIZE: 17.3 X 18.4 mm


MANUFACTURE: Probably lost wax casting of silver

FIRST IMPRESSION: Good without close examination.


There is excess metal in various places but most noticiably in some of the lettering. This results from air bubbles trapped during a molding process and shows this is most likely a lost wax casting.

excess metal

The edges have file marks consistent with attempting to remove a casting seam but unfortunately I am not able to image the edges well enough to show these file marks on this example.

On the reverse there are scrap marks at the bottom where the forger appears to have been removed some of the excess metal, but not doing a very good job of it:

surfrace file marks

There are also areas of porosity and other surface structures characteristic of a lower quality lost wax casting, as well as some attempt at artificial wear and toning to create a superficially ancient appearance.



DEALER: High (then Low)



The style of the coin accurately copies the style of the original coin from which the mold was made so inspite of only a poor to mediocre casting casting quality someone buying a group of otherwise genuine coins into which this example were mixed, giving the entire group only a casual examination might miss this fake, making the danger to a dealer realtively high initially. That change to low once the dealer has time to look closer at it while cataloging it, as any experienced dealer should spot it as fake at that point. An experienced collector looking at it closely while making a purchase decision should spot it as fake easily so to him it is of low danger. Inexperienced collectors might easily be fooled by this fake.

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