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Modern Fakes of Ancient Coins

becker fake postumus

This Postumus bronze was hand struck with hand cut die in the 1820's by the master forger Carl Becker whose forgeries occasionally still show up, although it seldom takes long for a knowledgeable dealer or collector to point out the problem

The earliest documented collection of ancient coins was formed by the Este family of Milan in the late 15th century. Very quickly collecting of classical coins became fashionable among European aristocracy. Very quickly forgers began making coins to fill this market, with Giovanni da Cavino of Padua the best known 16th century forger.

TI built this website as an introduction to forgery of ancient coins. It will not make you an instant expert but will give teach you enough to spot the more obvious ones and provide the ground work needed to learn more. While my main goal is to help collectors protect their own interests, I hope it will make life difficult for forgers attempting to deceive them.


  1. Most ancient coins on the market today are genuine, and most dealers are knowledgeable in telling the difference.

  2. True expertise in authentication of ancient coins takes years of experience handling many thousands of genuine examples and study known fakes. Novice collectors should rely on reputable knowledgeable dealers to help with their purchase decisions.

  3. A type known to have been forged that does not mean all examples of that type are suspect. Many genuine coins have been condemned because they are "similar" to know fakes.

  4. Authentication requires physical examination by someone qualified to do so. While obviously fakes can be determined from an image, some quality fakes cannot.

  5. I do not personally offer an authentication service, although I do fully guarantee the authenticity of all coins I sell. While obvious fakes can be determined from an image, better quality ones cannot. Please do not send me images of your coins for my opinion as I cannot give one based on only seeing an image.

  6. David Vagi at NGC offers authentication services for ancient coins. If you need a coin examined I recommend contacting NGC to arrange to send the coin to him.

  7. If visiting this site for the first time, it is best to read the pages in the order as presented using the next page links at the bottom of each page. Navigation in the upper left can take you any particular page at any time.

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