The (fake) coinage of Petra

Sometimes ebay scammers are a good source to spot fakes sold by major auction houses. Today for example, I was looking at the ebay shop of selin959, that I suspect is an alias of selin-franc, formerly known as aitnacoins. Among many fakes listed, which I will probably discuss in future posts, I was intrigued by this coin, a cast fake of a litra from Petra in Sicily, listed by Calciati as CNS III.317.1. (At this link a genuine sample from BM).

Petra fake selin.jpgPetra cast fake selin959 ebay june 2016

Well, this is the result of a quick search I just did on the web:

A sample of this fake was sold by the German auction house Gorny & Mosch Giessener Münzhandlung on October 2009:

petra fake gorny.jpg

Petra cast fake Gorny 180-39.jpg

In the meantime other samples appeared on the bay:

petra fakes ebay.jpg

Some years later, on May 2013, the British seller Roma Numismatics Limited offered auction another sample of this fake. Despite the red flags raised by many expert users of lamoneta and Forvm, the lot wasn’t withdrawn.

petra fake roma 2013.jpg

The coin (estimate 1000 GBP by the auction house) was sold for 1100 GBP, but maybe the buyer realized he bought a fake soon after, and he returned the coin to the seller, who offered again it about nine months later as if nothing had happened, listing a different picture, this time for a ridiculous estimate of 100 GBP, with the starting price reduced of 90% compared with the previous sale, clearly showing the intention to get rid of that fake. Fortunately no collector was cheated and the coin went unsold.

petra fake roma 2014

For this type I share another interesting case: two forgeries struck by the same transferred dies, both sold by Classical Numismatic Group. Note the impossible identicalness of traces of undertype on both sides…

Petra transferred dies CNG triton V and E374-125.jpg

petra fake cng eauct.jpgpetra fake cng triton.jpg


3 thoughts on “The (fake) coinage of Petra

  1. This Message to send you a big THANKS for this great job you make over sicilian coins ! I would be happy to help also, but i do not know how to send you email…


    1. Hi Laurent! Any help here is welcome, if you have some fakes to disclose or discuss just post a comment here, with links to coins you want to point out, I will read it and eventually I’ll publish a new post citing you as source.
      If you want to send me private emails write to: but remember I will not open any attached files to emails, so just paste links to online numismatic databases to point at coins you want to discuss.
      With kindest regards


  2. Also, another example of the eBay-ROMA-Gorny&Mosch fake was sold at Bertolami Fine Arts eAuction 73 just a few months ago:

    I’m not sure I agree with your interpretations of the CNG example. The reverse is a different die. The undertype for both is a Sicilian drachm, typical for this issue. The obverse is clearly struck from the same die, but the wear pattern, centering and orientation are different, which should all be strong evidence of authenticity rather than forgery.


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