Imitations from an American Collection 1
I've lately had the opportunity to incorporate a substantial group of imitations from a private American collection into this site, increasing the number of pieces illustrated here by approximately one third. These imitations are only a tiny part of perhaps the most important private collection of Republican coins in the world. I'm grateful for the confidence shown in me by the owner of these coins. Most of these coins were acquired over a roughly 20 year period from the early 80's to 2002. The collector was diligently seeking imitations; the fact that he was "only" able to obtain 99 pieces demonstrates how scarce these pieces are as a class. (Actually, there are at least two hoards of imitations also in this collection still to come.) The owner of these coins mentioned his concern that his specimens would be largely redundant to my own. My response was that I hoped that would indeed be the case. "Redundancy" in the form of die links would be the best possible outcome; as I've discussed elsewhere, links would in principle allow entire groups of coins to be associated together, as unquestionably originating at the same time, in the same place. A large number of two-sided die matches, while less significant, at least might indicate that an end was in sight. Not surprisingly, neither proved to be the case. I found a handful of links and matches, and made some interesting individual discoveries, but mostly, a familiar pattern repeated itself here. All but a few coins were sui generis, and the goal I set at the beginning of my investigation of imitations, the creation of an actual catalogue, remains elusive. I feel like a physicist pursuing a Theory of Everything; I'm confident a catalogue is possible, if only I had more data and greater insight. There's not much I can do to hasten the latter, but I certainly welcome the massive input of data represented here, even if, in the short term, it moves me no closer to a numismatic TOE.
All coins from this collection have been identified with + following the number. The majority of coins presented here are Geto-Dacian Monetary Imitations, Class A, Group II. They immediately follow this introduction, continuing the overall A/II numbering. Other pieces have been added to the appropriate sections, Monetary Copies, A/I, an expanded and renumbered Eraviscan, B/II section, other Pannonian coins, the first Serbian, C/I, coin I've been able to illustrate, a selection of plated coins in Near-Roman Style, E/Ib, a few other plated coins here and here, an amazing Hybrid Transfer Copy, A/1aa, a Hybrid from an official obverse die, and a few other items scattered throughout the site. I've added coins to the Anomalous Light, D/Ia, category with misgivings, enhanced by the fact that the owner of these coins had criticized the Anomalous categories from the time he read an early draft of my article. I stubbornly persisted in using them, but I no longer wish to maintain that the Heavy/Light distinction is meaningful. I do continue to believe that some imitations differ from the "norm", such as it is, but I would now describe these all in a single "Unclassified" category. I'll probably eventually make that change on this site.
Finally, a note on the images. All images on this site have been produced using an Epson scanner, 100%, 1200 dpi. This method has been quite successful for the coins in my collection, many of which are new finds, recently cleaned. However, the images of some of the nicely toned coins in my friend's collection are too dark. Eventually, I'll probably fix this; for now, I'll simply apologize. (2/9/2006.)