Ancient Imitations of coins of Julia Domna
(Wife of Septimius Severus, who reigned AD 193-211, and mother of Caracalla, who reigned until 217)

First is an unusual good-silver imitation, followed by the more-common fourrées and then casts.

Julian Domna, good silver    18-17mm. 6:00. 3.01 grams.

Good-silver imitation, crude bust style, cited in RSC 51 as "ancient forgery? Hybrid, reverse of Septimius." 
Clearly this example is an ancient imitation -- but possibly not for profit because the silver looks as good as the official issues.
   /FELICIT-AS AVGG, Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus on long staff, and cornucopia 
BMC page 170 lists the legend among "doubtful denarius" types. See plate 30 for Caracalla, BMC (S&C) 161, p. 186 "199-201".

JD   19 mm. 5:30.  3.12 grams.

Hybrid of not-quite official style.
The obverse legend exists only under Cacacalla's sole reign (211-217), but the reverse belongs to the period 196-211.
    /FORTVNAE FELICI, Felicitas standing left holding cornucopia, resting left on rudder
Sear 1837 var.  RIC -- but 552 has this reverse with IVLIA AVGVSTA, page 167, plate 9.5 "196-211"
BMC (S&C) reverse of 24, plate 27.12 (3.62 grams).
Under microscopic examination the surface shows a very thin layer of silver over copper -- but not the appearance of a foil sheet. The surface seems different from that of a typical Republican silver-plated denarius.

Next, fourrées, then casts.

Fourrées are struck from dies engraved by forgers. The face is always the hardest thing to draw, and you can see that the engravers had a hard time getting the face of Julia Domna right. Compare the next several fourrées to the casts that follow. Because casts were of casts from official coins, the style of cast imitations is usually perfect and certainly much better than most fourrés.

JD   19 mm. 6:00. 3.00 grams.

A stern Julia Domna fourrée. Although the engraving is good, it does not duplicate official style.
IVLIA AVGSTA  [sic, the second "V" of "AVGVSTA" was not engraved]
This is a hybrid.  The obverse is common for Julia Domna, but the reverse belongs to Septimius Severus, BMC (S&C) 562, plate 42.4, AD 208.
    Many fourrées are hybrids that use obverse and reverse types that were never officially matched.

most silver  19 mm. 6:00. 2.71 grams.
A fourrée with a vapid portrait and uninspired reverse engraving. Compare the reverse to the next piece.
    /PVDI - CITIA, Pudicitia seated left.
Prototype:  Sear 1848. BMC (S&C) 74, page 166, plate 28.17 of Rome. There are similar eastern types but this style is western.

bold  17 mm. 6:00. 2.55 grams.
Boldly engraved. The reverse is in excellent style.
    /PVDICTIA [as the previous coin, but much better engraved]
Prototype:  Sear 1848. BMC (S&C) 74, page 166, plate 28.17 of Rome. There are similar eastern types but this style is western. 
Hill 1165 or 1298 (both AD 211).  1165 has the correct obverse legend, but not the scepter, and 1298 is vice versa.

hybid with Geta  18 mm. 6:00. 2.64 grams.

Good, but not quite official, style. Much plating gone.
    /FELICITAS TEMPOR, Felicitas holding caduceus
Protypes:  Hybrid with reverse of Geta, BMC 683, plate 45.1, AD198-200, eastern mint.

Excellent style  18 mm. 5:30. 2.88 grams.

Extremely thin silvering on a coin of excellent style. I wonder if this is not a fourrée, rather a cast which was then somehow silvered. The style is almost too good for a fourrée.
    /seated female left (in good style, but too corroded to identify the legend)
This obverse legend was used for Julia Domna under Caracalla.

crude portrait  18 mm. 6:00. 2.95 grams.

A bold, but cruder portrait.
    /FELICITAS, Felicitas standing left with caduceus
Prototype:  RSC 47.  BMC (S&C) 22, page 160, plate 27.11, AD 198-209.

Cast imitations:

cast Julia DomnaJulia Domna/PIETAS AVGG prototype

Imitation:  Cast, no traces of silvering. 18-16 mm. 6:00. 2.60 grams.                          Prototype:  AR20. 6:00.  3.45 grams.
Unusually brassy. Most casts are in base gray metal, as are the following pieces.
    /PIETAS AVGG, Pietas standing left, sacrificing at altar
References:  Prototype is Sear (old) 1846. RIC (SS) 572, plate 9.8 "196-211". BMC (S&C) 62, "196-211" plate 28.13.
    I don't know what the counterfeiters did to make a cast piece like this have a silver surface that could be deceptive. It cannot properly be called the core of a fourrée because it was not struck with silver plating.

base metal  19 mm. 6:00. 3.03 grams.

Gray metal. Note the weakness which is typical of casts. They are rarely bold. They cannot have more depth of relief than the coins they are cast from, and they lose details in the process. Contrast this with fourrées, which are often as bold as the originals.
    /IVNO, Juno standing with peacock at feet.
Prototype:  BMC (S) 38-39 page 162, plate 27.19, AD 198-209.
RSC 82.  Hill 1029 (AD 209)

PVDICITIA  19 mm. 12:00. 2.78 grams.

Another dark metal cast. Note the official style, which is typical of casts.
Prototype: RIC 576, page 170. BMC 613-616, page 278, "Eastern mint," plate 43.4. 
Also BMC 72-74 at Rome. Plates 28.16 and 28.17 have fewer hair ridges. 28.17 is called "base?" for being 2.49 grams.
The same type was issued at Rome, but is "R2" there according to Hill #701.

small cast   17-15 mm. 6:00. 3.07 grams.

A small cast. Casts are usually slightly smaller in diameter than the originals used to make the molds. However, thickness is not easily controlled in casting because the two halves of the mold may not fully meet.
Type as above, but possibly the western style.

IVNO  19 mm. 12:00. 2.60 grams.

Gary metal. The bright copper is encrusted on the surface and is not below the surface. This is a cast and not a fourrée.
The reverse shows a very thin shiny lighter covering, possibly intended to imitate silver, but no longer effective.
    /IV - NO, Juno standing, peacock at feet.
Prototype: Sear --. BMC (S&C) 39, page 162, plate 27.19.
RIC 559, page 168, plate IX.6 has a very similar reverse die.

DIANA LVCIFERA  18 mm. 6:00. 2.31 grams.

Gray metal. Flan crack through 80% of the flan, starting at 5:00.
    /DIANA LVCIFERA, Diana standing left, holding torch
Sear 1835.

Again, note the weakness of the cast pieces compared to the struck pieces.

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