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"Barbarous" Imitations of Roman Coins

Ancient coin circulation seems to have seen a continuum of

Most official coins were struck, some imitations also cast from originals. Cast imitations, the so-called "limes falsa" showed central design (having been cast from official Roman originals), but were low in precious metal. Even countermarks were sometimes copied by these inofficial mints, cut into a fake die rather than applies seperately, or taken as cast from an original with countermarks (see also section with Roman Countermarks). Sometimes combinations of obverse / reverse can be found in these in-offical imitiations that do not exist in Roman originals. Struck imitations sometime bear only minimal ressemblance to their originals, but some are very close in style.

Increasingly barbarous style in below "Republican denarii"...


Roman Imperial Coins (Local "Barbarous" Imitations)

GLORIA ROMANORUM, AE 2, emperor on horse (Barbarian imitation)


LIMES FALSA hybrid combining a late Commodus obverse and a (early) Severus reverse of the legionary series. Such hybrids are not uncommon along the Danube limes. It is not clear if these coins were local contemporary forgeries, or semi-official coins to ease the shortage of coins in those remote regions (with a high demand of money due to the strong military forces needed to defend the northern border)


Subaeratus Coins with a copper core and a thin silver (or gold) layer likely issued secretely by official mints to increase profit for the Roman fiscus

here a Brutus EID MAR denarius with copper core, subaeratus coins exist even of the earliest Lydian coins 600 BC, electron staters and Kroisos coins...

and a denarius of Augustus

Indian Imitations and coins used as jewellery in India. Roman trade reached as far as China into the East. India was a regular trade partner over the Red Sea. Traders established trading stations all along the Western shore of India, with Roman coins (and their imitations) commonly found there. Severian Coins seem to be the last gold coins found there.
Indian Imitation of a Septimius Severus aureusRoman original with 2 holes for jewelry in a Caracalla aureus

Modern Struck Imitiation of a Brutus EID MAR denarius, originals can be found here


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