Ancient imitations of Roman coins of Trajan Decius (AD 249-251) and Trebonianus Gallus (AD 251-253)

    Imitations from this period are uncommon. It was probably becoming harder to profit from making silver-plated coins when the official pieces were already rather low in silver content. Also, official issues were plentiful so there was less need to make unofficial coins for commerce. 

Trajan Decius (AD 249-251)
brass radiate Trajan Decius/DACIA  21 mm.  5:30.  3.89 grams
Yellow brass, without traces of silver. Worn looking, perhaps a cast. However, the edge shows no seam.
IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG
    /DACIA, Dacia standing holding staff with "draco" military standard.
RIC 12b, page 121, "249-251".

Trajan Decius fourreofficial Trajan Decius/DACIA

21 mm. 12:00. 2.14 grams. Remarkably thin fourre  and its official prototype.
IMP [C M Q TRAI]ANVS DECIVS AVG
    /DACIA, Dacia standing holding staff with "draco" military standard.
Prototype: RIC 12b, page 121, "249-251".  AR22.  6:00.

small imitation Trajan Decius  19-18 mm.  6:00. 2.16 grams
Hybrid. Distinctly small. Little silver remains, but clearly fourre.
IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG
    /VIRTVS AVGG, Virtus standing right holding vertical spear behind
Reverse type of Philip II or Treboniainus Gallus, but not Decius.
Prier IV (6/26/1998) lot 310 was from the same dies, and the same size. It was a very similar coin but for the weight. 

Herenniusrev

Herennius Etruscus, 250-252 under Trajan Decius.
Silvered 20 mm. 6:00. 2.20 grams (very light) 
HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB C
VBERI TAS AVG (very weak), Uberitas holding purse and cornucopiae
RIC 160v, page 141, with legend variety


VESPASIAN

Trajan Decius issued a famous "DIVI" series with 11 previous emperors represented.
One website that illustrates them is here.
They were issued in the base silver of the time, but looked like silver. This is a soft cast imitation of the type of
Vespasian (69-79 AD) DIVO VESPASIANO/CONSECRATIO
with eagle standing right, wings partly open, on the reverse.
22-20 mm. 5.06 grams. Thicker than normal. No signs of plating or surface-silvering.
I don't see how this would have fooled anyone.
RIC 79, page 130 "Rare".


Trebonianus Gallus (AD 251-253)
large flan imitation Gallus  24 mm. 12:00. 3.36 grams
A larger (!) flan than the official pieces, but thin.
IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG    (poorly struck, so it is hard to read, but it is there)
    /female figure seated left holding out arm with ? and vertical scepter
    /legned illegible, maybe with VI and ending AVG
A common obverse legend of Gallus.

Treb Gallus, PAX AETERNA  20 mm. 5:30. 3.53 grams.
Legend correct but lettering unevenly formed -- clearly irregular, but a very nice example.
IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG
    /PAX AETERNA, Pax standing left holding olive branch and scepter (or cornucopiae)
Prototype:  Sear 2788. RIC 71, page 166, "mint of Milan" undated 251-253. 

T G   20 mm. 5:30. 3.38 grams.
 IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS AVG
   /PIETAS AVG, Pietas standing, raising both hands. Altar at feet left.
Prototype:  Sear 3.9242 (no photo), RIC 72 (Milan) page 166, plate 13.16. 

    Gallus is pretty late for silver-plated imitations. The profit must have been diminishing -- there was less and less silver in the official coins!

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