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No 262 Contemporary Forged Claudius Denarius

No 262 Contemporary Forged Claudius Denarius Image

Roman contemporary forgery of a Claudius denarius: This has got to be one of our most interesting pieces. It comes from a hoard of 110 forgeries found recently by Yvonne Davies and her son Nick which are expected to fetch about £30,000.

Yvonne and Nick were detecting on the banks of the River Waveney when they spotted a leat which may have provided barges with access to a Roman site. A metal detector search located the hoard of 110 contemporary forgeries of denarii of the emperor Claudius, some of them commemorating the Conquest of Britain and which were struck in AD 46, 49, 50 & 51. These coins are all in good condition, rare and worth between £200 & £700 each.

Richard Reece of the Institue of Archaeology, London said that copies of Claudian copper coins are not uncommon. The Waveney hoard is a different matter. These coins are silver plated and of very good style. They could never have been produced officially as some legends are blundered. Any Roman moneyer who mispelled the emperor’s name would surely have had a short life expectancy! It would seem unlikely that a Roman soldier would have been decieved by one of these or willing to accept it knowing its nature. They were certainly made by someone with the object of defrauding the native Britons and this is the forger’s own hoard. As Richard Reece pointed out the chances of two coins from the same dies being re-associated after circulation is small and here we have no less than 20 dies represented on over 100 coins and several identical specimens.

Finds of early Roman coins are virtually unknown on rural sites, thus suggesting that the farming community was slow to accept the new money being introduced by the invading army. Trade would have built up around this advancing army of occupation and it would have been facilitated by Roman coinage. The existing Celtic coinage would have been totally inadequate for the purpose. The forger would have been conducting his business in this environment and may well have died as a result of cheating the Celts, thus explaining his failure to return to recover his stock.

Our coin shows Caludius on the obverse. The reverse have SPQR on the reverse surrounded by a laurel wreath. It is a copy of a very rare type of Roman coin. Dr Reece stated that out of perhaps 500,000 Roman coin site finds he had identified, he could only remember one such as these examples.

Your Price:£2.79
Weight:5.50 g