The (fake) coinage of Lipara – Part IV

Hemilitron, reduced. CNS I.12

(At this link a genuine sample from BnF)

This case was already discussed on the Italian forum one year ago. The comparison says it all: here we are facing with modern forgeries struck by fake transferred dies. Coin 1 (Gorny & Mosch) is the host coin, coins 2 (Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH) and 3 (ACR Auctions) are fakes. The same obverse fake die was used to realize a forgery of CNS I.20 I will report in a future post.

Comparison Lipara 12.jpg

Following Continue reading “The (fake) coinage of Lipara – Part IV”

The (fake) coinage of Lipara – Part II (with additions and corrections)

I revised this post (and Part I too), adding many new fake samples, after some anonymous Italian collectors gently gave me some pics of old listings stored in their personal digital archives.


I open the second part of this investigation on the pervasive and widespread forgeries of Lipara by sharing the related plate from Weber collection, to give even more evidences to my statements concerning the correct style, fabric and shape of flans for this mint.

And now let’s go on…

Tetras CNS I.5

(At this link a genuine sample from British Museum)

Also this type of Lipara has been faked in many ways. Let’s start from the most obvious cases, the first three already listed by Forvm users, all the other cases are newly disclosed.

This one was sold on ebay as reproduction in January 2009:

Lipara tetras CNS 5 ebay 2009 sold as replica

This sold as genuine on ebay in January 2013 (122 Eur)

Lipara tetras CNS 5 sold as genuine ebay jan 2013

This sold as genuine by the Siculo-german scammer Aitnacoins in June 2013

Lipara tetras CNS 5 Sold as genuine on june 2013 by ebay NFS aitnacoins

And now the newly detected fakes, not published on Forvm and Forgery Network:

This is a cast fake, also sold by Aitnacoins on June 9 2010. Final bid: 858 USD

Lipara tetras CNS 5 Sold as genuine on 9 june 2010 by ebay NFS aitnacoins 858 USD

Several fakes were also sold by major auction houses; e.g. the German seller Fritz Rudolf Künker:

Lipara cns I.8.5 kunker wrong style PRESSED

This is a fake, clearly pressed by modern dies on a real ancient flan, look at the flat fields and the many radial small fractures, all features typical of the pressed forgery process.


The obverse die is invented, the interrupted dotted border intersecting the beard is inconsistent with the style of the real coinage of Lipara. Weight is wrong, the genuine specimens weight from 22 to 28 g, this coin is an impossible hybrid: the types of the Tetras with the weight of the Hexas. A seller who lists this coin is totally ignorant about the coinage of Lipara. Maybe just ignorance. Look at the following listing by the same seller:

Lipara cns I.8.5 inconsistent border crossing beard! Kunker.jpg

We already saw the same trick used by another German seller in the first part of this article, when they sell clones they list pictures with the coins differently oriented. Now see how they look if well oriented (I rotated reverse of the first one):

Lipara tetras CNS 5 Kunker 216-205 PRESSEDLipara tetras CNS 5 Kunker E39-56 CAST

Ooops! they are Twins! The coin sold by Künker just a month ago (BTW, price realized: 625 Eur!!) is a cast twin of the pressed fake sold by the same seller in 2012. Chapeau!

Here a different sample from the same workshop (same dies), sold by the same seller:

lipara fake kunk same workshop

This time clearly something went wrong during the casting process…

Lipara tetras CNS 5 Kunker 236-428 CAST

Künker seems really specialized in selling Lipara fakes. Herea nother case:

Lipara cns 5 kunker cast fake host nomos

This one is a cast fake. Host coin: Nomos 3, lot 36

Lipara tetras CNS 5 Kunker 174-150 CAST, host Nomos 3-36Lipara cns 5 host nomos


Let’s go on with another case. The British auction house Roma Numismatic Limited listed this dreadful coin in March 2012:

Lipara cns I.8.5 ROMA march 2012

The lot went unsold, and six months later the seller tried again to sell it, 25% less estimate, and an attractive addition to description: “exceptionally well preserved for the type“. Nothing to do, again no fish fell into the net, and the exceptional coin went unsold again.

Lipara cns I.8.5 ROMA RELISTED

Lipara tetras CNS 5 ebay Lanz 2012, ex ROMA IV-1130, ex ROMA III-95

Style and epigraphy are so wrong that I am uncertain whether this coin is struck by modern dies engraved by a a drunk forger, or it was once genuine now entirely re-engraved by a drunk tooler; maybe it is both things?. Only one thing I’m sure, it’s junk. The scrap was recycled by Lanz on his ebay shop, just two weeks after the Roma sale!! The ebay auction realized final price 517 Eur, after 25 bids. I am grateful to those who gave their contribution to this article by giving me even screenshots of the old ebay listings.


There are other sample for this type out there I suspect to be fakes, like this one listed by Gorny (traces of undertype: obverse 3h-8h, dotted border of the real ancient coin used as flan? no overstrikes detected by Calciati for Lipara). Further studies with coins in hand would be needed to really realize the magnitude of the phenomenon, which already just by a photographic survey seems of dramatic proportions.


Onkia CNS I.7

(At this link a genuine sample from CNS, here another genuine one from BM).

Also this rare type (only six specimens listed by CNS, all showing the same peculiar features of flan saw in the genuine samples linked above) has been targeted by forgers. Some attempts were really unsuccessful, like this one, listed for 1400 eur fixed price in march 2013, on the ebay store by the notorius siculo-german scammer Aitnacoins:

Lipara onkia CNS 7 aitnacoins ebay.jpg

Another forgery was sold on 2013 by the German seller Numismatik Lanz, on his ebay shop. (source lamoneta):

LIPARA onkia lanz ebay

Lipara onkia CNS 7 Lanz ebay 2013.jpg

Also in this onkia we can see the flat fields and the wrong shape of the flan, inconsistent with the real coinage of Lipara. In this case is interesting to note the “goose bumps” look of surfaces and the particular feature of the borders showing multiple radial microcracks, all signs that the ancient genuine bronze flan was heated before the modern re-strike by press. The green patina is clearly artificial.

For the same reasons of inconsistency of fabric also this coin sold by CNG is probably a modern forgery artificially aged and corroded.

Lipara onkia CNS 7 CNG 84-131.jpg

Finally for Lipara CNS 7, we have this group of cast fake twins, the first two sold by Roma Numismatics Limited, the third by ArtCoins Roma, the fourth by Myntauktioner i Sverige AB.

Lipara onkia CNS 7 ROMA NUMISMATICS VCoinsLipara onkia CNS 7 ROMA NUMISMATICS may 2013-172Lipara onkia CNS 7 ACR 9-210Lipara onkia CNS 7 Myntauktioner i Sverige AB 12-21.jpg


Lipara. Vcoins Roma numismatic fakeLipara onkia romaLipara onkia acrLipara CNS 7 Myntauktioner i Sverige AB

to be continued…

Forthcoming fakes: CNS 11, CNS 12, CNS 15, CNS 16, CNS 21, CNS 28, CNS 31

Akragas fake recently listed on auction + fakes from the same modern transferred dies listed in recent years.

Recently listed on auction, gone unsold… Caveat Emptor!
Collectors comment: “a shoddy fake


Akrafake l


EDIT 21/05/16

Edits based on this discussion from cointalk forum, where a member (Theodosius) shared his new acquisition, purchased by a reputable VCoins seller:

Akragas ae emilitra triton buccinum CNS III.174.32 fake dies VCoins.jpg

Here the original listing by the US seller Pars Coins:

akr fak parscoins.jpg


The first who raised a red flag was member Ancientnut, who noted:

“I welcome comments from other members, but I feel obligated to point out to you, Theodosius, that your coin, although covered with a heavy patina, would appear to be from the same dies as this example condemned as a fake:”

This was my comment on the coin in question:

Good evening all,
I was privately called by an user of this forum to post my opinion on this thread.
The coin posted here by Theodosius IMHO is a forgery, struck on a genuine ancient flan by modern fake dies probably obtained by transferring and reworking an original type from a genuine host coin. This type variant was a great rarity indeed, until ten years ago: only three specimens were known according to Calciati (CNS vol.III p.174). Starting 2006 many more specimens appeared on the market, all forgeries struck by fake dies, that the forger improved over time, especially the obverse where (like the sample posted by Theodosius shows) there was at first a ridiculous rendering of the eagle’s eye and beak, resembling a pigeon, and errors in epigraphy.
Beyond stylistic matters, I will not clearly explain in details why they all are fakes, because disclosing too much technical informations is the best way to help forgers to improve their infamous work. But let’s play a sort of quiz… try to sharpen your observation and spot at least one problem by yourself… in particular, there is an obvious detail screaming “Transferred die, forgery!”, a detail that could not in any way recur, but we can see it on Theodosius’ sample and on the five specimens I link here…”

The first to note the problem was Prof. Eric Kondratieff:

“it appears that each example all have the same corrosion pit in the midsection of the Triton”

Following a gallery of samples struck from the same fake transferred dies:

Akragas ae emilitra triton buccinum CNS III.174.32 fake dies Busso Peus 410-35Akragas ae emilitra triton buccinum CNS III.174.32 fake dies Ira and Larry 80-324Akragas ae emilitra triton buccinum CNS III.174.32 fake dies Kunker 216-113Akragas ae emilitra triton buccinum CNS III.174.32 fake dies ACR 6-147.jpg

this one shows the same obverse “pigeon” die of the first two samples published in this post (Kunker E39-16 and Pars Coins item PCW-G5186)…

Akragas ae emilitra triton buccinum CNS III.174.32 fake dies catawiki varus.jpg


Here the sellers’ listings showing prices realized:

:akr fak acrakr fak bussoakr fak iraakr fak kunk

akr fake cata.jpg


This may be the host coin for the transferred fake dies:



This is a genuine specimen, CNS plate coin:

CNS iii 174 32:1 die break

…recently auctioned: (GENUINE)

Akragas ae emilitra triton buccinum CNS III.174.32 Gorny 224-46 GENUINE Calciati plate coin!!.jpg

Lipara fake recently sold on auction. GRIECHISCHE MÜNZEN

liparafake imgA modern fake has recently been sold by the German auction house Fritz  Rudolf Künker GmbH.

The coin was struck by modern fake dies (likely transferred) on a real ancient flan of Akragas. This is an “impossible” coin from a metrological point of view (5.94 g), the types should be for the tetras (8 known specimens according to Calciati, weights from 1.60 to 2.83 g).

Experts comment: “They have never seen a genuine one, neither sellers nor buyers. The akragantine flan is unconsistent with the coinage of Lipara.” Continue reading “Lipara fake recently sold on auction. GRIECHISCHE MÜNZEN”