Authenticating Your Ancient Coins

Mia Nelson

Ancient coins are coveted by many a coin collector, and it's no surprise due to their rarity and their worth. Of course, this leads to any number of fakes and forgeries. Learning how to tell what is a fake and what is a genuine ancient coin is a necessity if you are going to start get into coin collecting.


Weight is extremely important when looking at whether ancient coins are genuine or not. Most ancient coins now have standards for how heavy they are, which helps you immensely. You can look up the standard weight, and then weigh the coin you have now to compare the two and determine whether it is genuine.


When people try and fake coins, they often make two halves and then fuse them together in a process called casting. This procedure leaves marks around the edges which is to your advantage. When you first find your coin, take a look at those edges to see if there are any visible marks of the two sides being fused together. While you are looking at the edges of your coins, you can also look for file marks where someone has tried to file off the fuse marks.

Shiny or Dull?

Ancient coins should be duller in coloration than most other coins that you will find. Restoring them can also damage them, so even in most collections, they tend to be duller that the other coins you might have. If your coin seems shinier than normal, you may have a fake. However, if the dull coloration seems too much, it may also have been applied to give it an aged effect. Be sure to check for this as well by running a finger nail across it and see if you can remove the application. If you can't, it is probably properly aged.

Surface texture

The main rule of thumb here is that the texture of the entire coin should be the same throughout, with an equal amount of pitting, or lack thereof, depending on the coin. If you see one area that looks especially bad, or one area that looks pristine, get your coin checked by an expert, but it's a good possibility that it is a fake.

There you have it, a few tips and tricks to checking if a coin is real or fake. If you really aren't sure, be sure to take your coin to a specialist to have it evaluated.

To learn more, contact a company like Harlan J. Berk, LTD.