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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
10900746

The Gasvoda Collection of Coin Dies and Counterfeiting Implements

CNG 109, Lot: 746. Estimate $2500.
Sold for $2200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CELTIC, Eastern Europe. Imitations of Philip II of Macedon. 3rd century BC. Iron Die for AR Tetradrachm. Dimensions: overall length, 20mm; diameter, 52 mm at face, tapering to approximately 50mm at base. Of cylindrical form. Weight: 94.05 grams. Iron face with intaglio of the obverse of a Dachreiter type tetradrachm from a mint in the Pannonian region. Cf. KMW 1106 (for obv. type). Intact, some corrosion, but in an overall excellent state of preservation. Special mint-association marking in outer margin of die face.


Ex Gorny & Mosch 224 (13 October 2014), lot 811.

INTRODUCTION

well as more common unofficial (i.e. forger’s) dies, covers a broad period of time, from the Celts to the modern era.

From the collector: For as long as there has been money there have been counterfeiters. Generally, we know this from the numerous examples of counterfeit coins that have survived. Less frequently, we have the opportunity to examine the tools of the counterfeiter – his dies. It has been estimated that there are around 100 surviving counterfeiter’s dies from ancient times. Many of these are locked away in museums and longtime collections. Rarely do any appear at auction.

The collection includes: an iron faced Celtic die; two Roman Republican dies, both with exceptional die faces; a pair of imperatorial legionary denarii dies under Marc Antony, with one again having an exceptional die face; a set of dies for an Augustan as or dupondius; a Tiberius die which may be an official Roman mint die; two hubs for Domitian denarii; a unique mold pair for a siliqua of Valens; and an exceptional die for a histamenon nomisma of Romanus II Agyros.
[Note: a reverse die of a Demetrios I tetradrachm from this collection will be offered in Triton XXII in January 2019.]

Individually, the dies are all fantastic. As a group, they offer a rare look into the work of the counterfeiter during ancient times. Here can be found examples of many of the ways a forger created his counterfeits. To add to our understanding, the collection also includes a cast forgery of a Claudius As after casting, but before being refined and trimmed to be passed as currency. To complete the collection, there is a nice set of dies and obverse hub from the Karl Goetz medal “bank fraud.” Here are found both the obverse hub as well as the obverse and a pair of reverse dies created from the hubs. This set also includes a silver medal of the type struck from the dies as well as an oversized bronze medal of the same design.