Roman Republic. T. Carisius. ca. 46 BC. Silver Denarius. PROBABLY AN ANCIENT COUNTERFEIT.

Ancient Coins - Roman Republic. T. Carisius. ca. 46 BC. Silver Denarius.  PROBABLY AN ANCIENT COUNTERFEIT.
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I believe this coin to ancient, but a counterfeit from the time. See my discussion of this at the bottom.

Denomination : Silver denarius. Date : 46 BC.

Reference : Sear-447.

Size : 16.6 x 16.9 mm. Weight : 2.51 grams (very light for this type even in this grade).

Grade : GOOD (a heavily worn coin).

Obverse : Bust of Juno Moneta right. The entire obverse inscription is off the flan, but if present would have read MONETA behind the head.

Reverse : Minting equipment (Hammer, tongs and dies) with T CARISIVS above (the first two letters are not visible).

When coins wear, they do not loose as much weight as one would expect, as a signficant part of wearing involves moving metal around on the surfaces rather than removing it from the surfaces.   Denarii of this period usually weighed between 3.7 to 4.0 grams, and even with this much wear on it I would still expect it to be at least 2.8 to 3.0 grams. At only 2.51 grams, it seems likely this specimen of fresh looking when minted was probably  no heavier than 3.2 grams, which is far below the standard for this issue.  This is one thing that suggests it may be an an ancient counterfeit.

When I examined this coin under microscope, I saw clear evidence the metal is ancient, including the presence of horn silver (silver chloride) deposits.  What I do not see, is evidence of die striking, suggesting it is probably a casting, and thus further evidence it may be an ancient counterfeit.

It is thought that in about AD 107,  Trajan withdraw all of the worn out good silver Republican denarii that were still circulating, with only the baser silver Legionary denarii of Antony remaining in circulation (which turn up highly worn in hoards buried in the Severan period).  The amount of apparent wear on this coin is consistent with at least 150 years in circulation, right in that period just before AD 107.
 
Because it's actual weight is well below what would be expected of it, and it does not appear to be die struck, I believe it may have been cast by a counterfeiter in that period just before 107 AD, when it would have passed very easily beside the other genuine but highly worn out Republican denarii that were still in circulation.  It is likely the counterfeiter would have used a genuine well worn coins to make his mold from, resulting is just the right amount of wear on his work.   This is of course highly speculative and cannot be proven, but it is what I believe to be the true status of this example.

Price SKU: vcoin3131
US$ 38.50
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Rates for: 01/22/18

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