When searching through my father’s shed in Michigan, I found this
coin, and it looks similar to others that have sold for small fortunes
I cannot tell if it is real or not. It has a seam on the edge and
weighs 24 grams.
What do I have?
What you have is electrotype reproduction of an ancient Greek coin
from Syracuse that was not made to deceive.
The piece you have replicates a decadrachm coin by Kimon, circa
400 B.C. Kimon was a master engraver of ancient Greek coinage whose
distinctive style is identifiable today, even on pieces he did not
sign (some of his coins bear the Greek letters KI as his signature).
He and fellow engravers such as Euainetos created beautiful, bold,
high-relief designs in styles that centuries later inspired President
Theodore Roosevelt and Augustus Saint-Gaudens to pursue a high-relief
gold coinage for the United States.
The obverse of the coin shows Artemis-Arethusa’s head and the
reverse depicts a chariot, or quadriga, being pulled by four horses
with a charioteer at the helm. Nike flying overhead is at the top of
A genuine decadrachm of Syracuse of the fifth century B.C. was a
large, heavy coin. According to the website kimoncoins.com, an
authentic piece would weigh approximately 43 grams, well more than an
American Eagle silver dollar’s weight (31.1 grams).
Even though they are not genuine coins, electrotypes can be
collectible. Electrotypes were made of some rare coins, often so a
collector could own a less expensive version or so an owner of a real
coin could display a high-quality reproduction rather than a more
valuable genuine piece. They were not intended to be deceptive, as
would a counterfeit coin.
While not visible in the photograph you shared, if the edge of the
electrotype has the marking “RR” on it, its presence could make your
piece more collectible.
The “RR” stands for Robert Ready, who worked for the British
Museum; replicas with his initials are sought after.
It is also important to note that, today, coin replicas are
required to be marked “COPY” in accordance with the Hobby Protection Act.
Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins
or other items for examination without prior permission from Coin
World. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety coins.
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returned unexamined. Please address all Readers Ask inquiries to email@example.com or
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