Ancient Counterfeit Coins Called Fourree

31 Jan 2018  Wed

Contemporary fakes made by imitating ancient coinage are known as fourrées. They were produced by using counterfeit dies after covering a base metal core with a silver foil. On some other occasions, a fake coin was struck using a base metal and then plated with silver.

A silver Fourree denarius of Claudius, issued circa A.D. 49 or 50 will be auctioned by Davisson’s Ltd. on 21st February with an estimated value of $1,500. The offered coin is graded Choice About Uncirculated by NGC. It is nicely toned with an almost intact surface. The reverse is struck off centre.

The fake Rome Mint coin was probably struck at an unofficial mint in Britannia after Claudius invaded in A.D. 43. The counterfeits were struck because there was a shortage of coins that were needed to pay thousands of Roman soldiers. Experts believe that even though these coins were not officially sanctioned, the practice was perhaps tolerated.

The weight of a fourree does not match with that of its original counterpart. Many of them feature corrosion in the base metal leading to the creation of gaps in the silver plating. Test cuts were made to detect such forgeries.

Collectors find Fourrees fascinating as they are technically ancient artefacts as well. Collectors can look to buy ancient counterfeits if their original versions are very expensive.

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