Mesembria diobol fake

coin image

Fake ancient coins from Mesembria became a problem in the late '80s when several thousand were produced as part of the 'Black Sea Hoard'.

Although I had studied fakes imitating Apollonia Pontika I had never learned to detect Mesembria fakes. When I picked up a bargin recently I discovered I had been bitten by a fake.

Robert Kokotailo (Calgary Coin & Antique) pointed out problems with this coin's style on the Ancient Coin Fakes and Deceptions (ACFDL) email list and showed how it was too similar to other diobols offered by the seller. [link] (requires login.) I don't want to recap Robert's argument here, but it was convincing, so let us assume this coin is a fake.

Under the microscope this coin showed odd metal 'growths'. Perhaps these were intended to make the coin look old, and somehow rather than evenly coating the fake they spattered unevenly on this coin?

The growths are not a product of the die. They are present on the rim and on the area of the reverse that spread away from the die during striking/pressing.

I would be curious to know if anyone has encountered similar bumps on their coins.

This coin is tiny, just 10mm across. These bumps were not easily visible under the naked eye but can be seen under the loupe or microscope.

coin obverse and top
Obverse and top, showing aging on the top of the helmet and rim.

coin reverse
Reverse. The growths are much taller on the reverse. Could growths on the obverse been tumbled or buffed off?

coin reverse
Enlargment of the reverse near the 'M'.

coin reverse
Enlargement of the reverse near the 'E'.

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