544/37 variety IXX GEL Denarius, ANT AVG IIIVIR RPC Galley Eagle Standards LEG XXI retrograde reads IXX GEL. An extraordinary imitation. AM#10151-30
Denarius. 32BC. 3.02grams. Egypt camp Antony mint. Antony. Crawford 544/37v ANT AVG IIIVIR RPC. Obverse: galley. Reverse: eagle standards, LEG XXI retrograde ie IXX GEL. Specific gravity 8.85 compared silver 10.4, thus it appears an ancient plated imitation with error legend but possibly a clever white-metal forgery. Very unusual. Extremely Rare.
This piece has been subject to much online discussion, as to whether it is or is not a plated ancient forgery, or whether it is made of white metal or silver plated. The style is perfectly correct and ancient. There is surface corrosion and lamination. At the rear of the galley on the obverse there does seem to be a break showing a core but it is curious that there is not clearer evidence of a copper core despite the many laminations. I examined the coin with a microscope and other than at the rear of the galley could see no direct evidence of plating. The coin is struck. The metal surface does not appear to be of pure silver - it may be debased or of a different metal. It seems that both possibilities remain open - that it is a plated ancient forgery, or that it is of white-metal, either ancient, or less ancient, possibly 19th century, though the latter is unlikely as it would be easier to use a sixpence worth of real silver if the intention was to deceive a collector.