Fake Pedigrees. Updated 12-10-16

In this article, that follows another one (in which are 4 other cases) and that I will write directly in my not perfect English, I will publish all the fake pedigrees I will find. I suspect that they are very common, much more than one can think. Consequently I will inform the seller. We will see what will happen!

I encourage any person who knows about fake pedigrees to report them to me. Thanks!

CASE 1. Seleukos Nikator very rare drachm.


I’ve found in a coin shop a specimen that is indicated as “References: SC 174.9 (this coin cited); ESMS S-51; HGC 9, 34″. SC is: A. Houghton, C. Lorber, Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. Part I: Seleucus I through Antiochus III, 2 voll., Lancaster, 2002. And this is 174.9 (it’s not a plate coin):


1: SC 174.9, p. 72.


2: the coin on sale.

But, oops, I’ve found too another coin that is indicated with the same provenance by CNG: SC 174.9 (this coin cited). And CNA is the former denomination of CNG, so I think that in this case they can be considered as totally reliable.


3: the real 174.9 from CNA IX, 7 december 1989.

I’ve sent an email to the seller.

Few hours later…

The seller answered quickly and changed the description of the coin. The price has been decreased from 575 $ to 475 $.


4: the description before and after.

zxwwrqsCASE 0: MAKEDONIEN. Amphipolis. Tetrobol.

Let’s take a walk down memory Lane…


I published firstly an article in which the subject is a fake pedigree. See this article for more details. The coin is this:


5: Svoronos’s coin vs the coin on sale.


6: the fake pedigree.

They are similar, but obviously not the same coin. And in this case the reference text is available for free online…

I sent an e-mail to the seller.


No answer. The description of the coin (at 12.45) hasn’t been changed. This evening I will write again…  If we don’t want to challenge the good faith of the seller, it’s anyway in my opinion an unacceptable mistake for a professional. But if they will sell this coin, after being informed about this mistake, without changing the description it would be an actual fraud.

23.23: e-mail sent.


21.25: no answer. No changes in description. I’ve sent an e-mail to sixbid…



I did a great mistake and I’m so sorry for that. This case isn’t one of fake pedigrees, as I understand after the quick and kind answer from the Sixbid Team and that from the seller. I did’nt know that pictures in the plates were made using plaster casts, and this fact explain the several differences between the 2 specimens, especially, but not only, concerning the shape of the rim. Anyway I have to say that if they answered after my first and not my fourth email, plus one to Sixbid, I would have immediatly understood my mistake, as I’ve done today…

I attach two videos with the overlapping of the obverse and the reverse of this coin. The plaster cast (Svoronos’s picture) is much more raw, badly done and with more chubby details, but I’m now convinced that it came from the coin now on sale.


Wow! Another coin from the (in)famous Paeonian Hoard (IGCH 410)! Today the king is not Patraos, but Lykkeios (359-340 B.C. ??).


7: the tetradrachm of Lykkeios on sale.

This is the description:

Paeonian Kingdom, AR Tetradrachm, c.359-340 BC, Lykkeios
(No legend)
Laureate, bearded head of Zeus right in beaded circle
Young, nude Herakles standing left, strangling Nemean lion with left arm, club raised in right hand, bow and quiver on ground to right
23mm x 25mm, 13.15g
SNG ANS 1019; Paeonian Hoard 63
Ex Sotheby’s, Auction 16, April 1969; Ex Harlan Berk; Ex David Cannon Collection

Obviously I took immediatly my catalogue, and…


8: p. 8 of the Catalogue of the Paeonian Hoard.


9: zoom of number 63, that is the coin on sale, or not?

Mmm… 12,68 g vs 13,15 g… let’s see the picture!


10: Paeonian Hoard 63.

So, is it the same coin?


11: the coin on sale vs Paeonian Hoard 63.

NO, they aren’t the same coin (even if a cast, but in this case I don’t think). There are so many differences that I’ll point out only a few: weight very different, cut on the edge in a different position, lion’s tail vs no tail, in Paeonian Hoard 63 border of dots under Zeus’s head. Even if it’s a cast, they couldn’t had invented the border of dots and the tail.

The final sentence is: a real FAKE PEDIGREE!

I’ll send an e-mail to the seller.

I have seen in the Code of Ethics of VCoins:

13. I will not intentionally misrepresent items I sell, including the use of misleading images, historical conjecture, unsubstantiated provenance or pedigree, or other tactics that may artificially inflate the perceived value of an item.

Violations of any provision of the VCoins Code of Ethics shall constitute conduct prejudicial to VCoins and may result in account suspension, termination, and/or legal action.

Surely is not intentional, but can have they checked the pedigree?


The seller answered me very kindly and quickly. He admits that clearly is not the same coin and said he will ask to his seller (Ex Harlan Berk). It’ obvious too he trusted completely in the previous seller’s description, without doing any kind of further control.



The description of the coin hasn’t changed yet.



The description of the coin hasn’t changed yet.


12: the description of the coins after more than 36 hours.

13. I will not intentionally misrepresent items I sell, including the use of misleading images, historical conjecture, unsubstantiated provenance or pedigree, or other tactics that may artificially inflate the perceived value of an item.

I hope that nobody buys the coin today…



13: the new description.

Now is ok, but I don’t understand one thing: why together Ex Sotheby’s, Auction 16, April 1969 has disappeared Ex Harlan Berk too, since the seller said to me he purchased the coin from him? Now a piece of real pedigree has been cancelled… Why?



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