Expert Tips for Identifying Fake Ancient Coins

Expert Tips for Identifying Fake Ancient Coins

Collecting ancient coins is a favorite pastime for many, while others take it more seriously and have a strong sense of affiliation with their coin collection. Many ancient coins date back thousands of years in history and are considered quite valuable for being rare. In fact, the rarity of ancient coins is one of the reasons why many coin collectors are interested in them.

However, many fake coins also enter the market from time to time. The con artists often fool newbie collectors by luring them into buying those fake coins. Therefore, if you also collect ancient coins as a hobby, you must have ample knowledge about ancient and counterfeit coins to identify the real ones easily. Even if you buy ancient coins at credible coin auction houses, you must ascertain that you are buying the real thing.

Here are some expert tips to help you identify fake ancient coins and always make the right purchase.

1. Check the Quality of The Metal Used

Ancient coins used to have a quality metal build. Counterfeit coins, on the other hand, are made from cheap and low-quality metal. For example, a fake gold coin can be made with brass or through gold plating. Generally, however, ancient coins change their color over time, and a patina develops on their surface. But if it’s a patina, the color won’t change too much. Especially gold and silver coins don’t undergo a significant change in color over time. You can also judge the quality of the metal used through the weight of the coin. The fake coins made using low-quality metals don’t come anywhere close to the standard weight of the coin.

2. Discern A Fake Coin With Its Color

If you know the metal used in making the coin, you can easily spot a fake by its color. The color must match the original coin’s metal composition. For instance, if a coin is made with zinc-plated steel, its color should be gray steel metal.

3. Check the Weight and Diameter of the Coin

Most coin auction houses give a description of different ancient coins on their website. It includes specific information about the collectible that helps discern it from the fake ones, such as its diameter and weight. Most of the ancient coins were made following certain weight and diameter standards. Even though the minting wasn’t exactly in ancient times, and slight variations were common between different specimens, the exact measurements were still very close to the defined standards. So, if a coin is too light or heavier than the standard weight, you should not buy it. The same goes for diameter measurements for every denomination.

4. Double Check The Engraving Quality and Style

Forged coins do have similar engravings as the original ones, but you can spot significant differences in their style and quality. You can easily distinguish a modern fake from an authentic ancient coin through fine details carved on very small elements—the engraving quality on the ancient coins used to be quite archaic in nature. Though you need to be a bit of an expert to tell the difference, it can help you distinguish the fake ones rather easily.

Forgers often take advantage of the lack of information among new coin collectors. If you’re new to the trade, follow the tips above, and you’ll be able to identify fake ancient coins easily. To avoid trouble, make sure you only buy at credible coin auction houses.

Nicholas Jansen