Saturday, October 14, 2006

Trio of matching fourrees

Today's photo shows three ancient counterfeits, all taken from the same dies. The first has intact plating — it was sold as an official mint issue.

Weights 1.57g, 1.97g, 1.99g.

I purchased these over the course of several years. I also have a fourth example, of the same workshop but of another die pair.

Because these coins are from the same workshop any differences in them come from corrosion in the ground and manufacturing variations at the “mint.&rdquo Having three pieces securely from the same mint might be able to illuminate details of the forger's art. Perhaps in a few years when it gets cheaper I'll be able to test them for composition. For example, is the silver plating of uniform composition? Are the copper cores similar in composition? (They certainly aren't in weight.) Maybe these little coins can tell us something about counterfeiting tech in the 3rd-4th centuries BC.

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