The (fake) coinage of Lipara – Part III

Hemilitron, reduced. CNS I.11

(At this link a genuine sample from BnF)

A modern fake couple of dies has been detected also for this reduced hemilitron, which is among the rarest issues of Lipara: for this variant with dolphin left CNS reports only three specimens, a fourth is in the BnF collection, linked above.

At least three forgeries struck by those dies have been sold in recent years. Let’s try to reconstruct what happened. We have to start from this coin:

On June 2012 the German seller Numismatik Lanz sold this coin on his ebay store.

Lipara hemilitron CNS 11 Lanz ebay june 2012, relisted CNG as YMSR collectionLipara CNS 11 CGB ex lanz ebay


Despite once that coin was probably genuine, today we can consider it as a fake. In fact the ignorant guy who had that coin in his hands had not realized that he was handling a gem, a great rarity, of which a unique sample was previously known, Lipara CNS 10:

Lipara CNS 10 UNIQUELipara hemilitron CNS 11 Lanz ebay june 2012, relisted CNG as YMSR collection

The asshole “restorer” smoothed the fields of the coin, deleting the six pellets below the dolphin, of which traces are still visible. He lowered fields to enhance the reliefs, totally deranging style of main devices, also the dotted border on reverse are directly engraved on the flan by lowering field; not to mention the tooling of reliefs, the eye and legs of Hephaistos, the chair, the kantharos, the eye of dolphin. Nothing original has remained. The potential second known specimen of CNS 10 is now a faked/tooled CNS 11. BTW, this same scrap was sold by the French seller CGB two years later, among many other junk coins with the (in)famous pedigree “YMSR collection”, fixed price list: 750 Eur!!

Lipara CNS 11 CGB ex lanz.jpg

The asshole who wasted that coin even had the great idea of transferring it to create a fake couple of dies…

Just four days earlier Lanz had sold this fake on his ebay store: 177 Eur final price after 17 bids. This coin is clearly a fake, struck by modern dies, transferred from the previous sample we discussed. In this case the weight is wrong (9.81 g): the genuine specimens have weights between 14.5 and 18.1 grams. Interesting to note the effects of the modern restrike on the genuine ancient flan, which has blasted away the metal surface layer in correspondence of reliefs.

Lipara hemilitron CNS 11 Lanz ebay june 2012Lipara CNS 11 lanz ebay MUNZEO


Another sample, Numismatik Lanz again, just five months later,what an abundance of rarities on that ebat store!!!

Lipara Hemilitron LANZ-CNG

In this case the forger chose a slightly heavier ancient flan, but still underweight (10.2 g), but he missed the correct strike, and he minted the obverse type on the reverse side, and vice-versa. For unknown reasons he recutted the last letter of legend (N) on the reverse die, traces of the old letter are still visible below the new one.

Lipara hemilitron CNS 11 CNG 372-47, ex Lanz ebay november 2012

This fake has been re-listed and sold about one month ago, April 2016, by Classical Numismatic Group, I could not believe my eyes when I saw this obvious fake listed on their online catalog, and even reading description, where they define “obverse” the hammer side of the flan. BTW, even the reference reported in description is wrong (CNS 9); this is the way work by the “experts” whose salaries are feed by buyers’ fees that collectors have to pay when they win a lot:

Lipara Hemilitron Hephaistos Hammer Kantharos CNG!! 6 April 2016!!

Finally a third sample appeared in August 2014, sold by the German seller Savoca Coins on his ebay shop, 170 Eur final price after 26 bids. Also in this case weight is wrong (9.78g), obviously the ignorant forger was wrong to choose the ancient flans on which he used the modern dies:

Lipara hemilitron CNS 11 Savoca ebay august 2014Lipara CNS 11 savoca ebay MUNZEO

to be continued…

Forthcoming: CNS 12, CNS 15, CNS 16, CNS 21, CNS 28, CNS 31


One thought on “The (fake) coinage of Lipara – Part III

  1. Great post. if only there were much more knowledgeable and discerning collectors like you to help and point out to others the fakes. its a disgrace and insult to history to be creating such fakes or mishandling real coins.


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