How to Detect Counterfeits at All Times. Part 2: Austrian Ducats – CoinsWeekly

[ bsa_pro_ad_space id=4 ] The history of ducats began in thirteenth hundred Europe ( Venice ), however, these coins did not come to Austria until the sixteenth hundred. Ducats were in circulation as legal tender until 1858, and were produced by the authorities as deal gold coins until 1915 .
On the obverse, ducats feature the portrait of austrian emperor Franz Joseph I and the latin dedication : “ FRANC IOS I D G AUSTRIAE IMPERATOR ”. The reverse depicts the coat of arms of the meter ( the double eagle ) and a romance legend : “ LOD ILL REX AA ( the class ) HVNGAR BOHEM GAL ”. The theme of the restrikes and those of the original coins are the same. There is no confront value engraved on the 1 ducat coin. The 4 ducat objet d’art shows a 4 in digression beneath the eagle. For modern restrikes the 1872 design was used and they feature the class 1915 .

Technical Specifications

The ducat ’ s technical parameters are the following :

  • 4 ducat coin: weight: 13.96 grams and a diameter of 39.50mm.
  • 1 ducat coin: weight: 3.49 grams and a diameter of 19.75mm.

Both coins were made from a 0.986 gold/copper alloy .
The 4 ducat coin with a diameter of 39.50mm belongs to the category of large bullion coins. It is only 0.71 mm thick, and can consequently be well bend. This is the reason why original pieces available on the marketplace are much deflect .

Beware: Counterfeits Are Either Very Poorly or Extremely Well Executed!

Among all the bullion coins available on the grocery store, austrian ducats are among the coins of the finest mint timbre. Ducats belong to a group of coins that have rarely been forged. The combination of detailed motifs, excellent and precise mint quality and a thickness of 0.7mm protect the coins from being counterfeited and discourage forgers .
The low thickness of ducats is besides the reason why forgeries are normally minted and not cast. Minting them is a lot more complex and expensive. To achieve a consequence that can compete with the original mint, forgers need high-quality tools and perfectly educate experts. In practice this means that inadequate forgeries are quite easy to spot, and well executed forgeries only show very few features that can help identify them as counterfeits. This fact and the incredible book of ducats on the commercialize generate the gamble that many nameless forgeries might be in circulation .
Since ducats are made from an high-gold debase ( 0.986 ) and are of low thickness, it happens quite much that the results delivered by the quiz equipment are not interpreted correctly. It is of overriding importance to adjust the parameters of the testing device to the specific coin .
As an example, I analysed two counterfeits that only show minor errors .

Specific Counterfeits: 4 Ducats

The forge was not created by using the same come of blackmail used for the master, therefore, the surface structure of the letters on the counterfeit differs from that of the original coin .
The graphic motifs, letters and numbers were evenly minted, however, they are not of the same depth as those on the authentic 4 ducat piece. The surround of dots is of uneven stature .
The alone intelligibly visible error is the indent next to the phone number “ 4 ” .
The ridged edge looks about precisely like the original .
The constitution of the alloy :

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Au Ag Pt Pd Cu Zn Sn Pb Fe Cr Ni
72.9 0.372 0.038 0.012 24.5 1.79 0.003 0.001 0.334 0.017 0.016

The counterfeit has a diameter of 39.75mm and a system of weights of 13.94 grams .

Specific Counterfeits: 1 Ducat

The counterfeit has a visible feature of speech at the centre of the coat of arms. A little plus dot in the form of a texture of sandpaper, which is highlighted in the picture. Letters and numbers are unlike from the master mint, the coat structure is a act porous. The edges are curved and the contrast to the backdrop is not adenine high as on the real number mint. The border of dots was imitated very well and looks alike to that of an authentic mint .
On the obverse, following to the letter “ R ” and the border of dots, there are two humble positive lines. The edge is ridged about precisely as that of the original .
The constitution of the alloy :

Au Ag Pt Pd Cu Pb Fe
73.1 26.7 0.0035 0.020 0.099 0.018 0.040

The counterfeit has a diameter of 19.99mm and a weight unit of 2.12 grams .
Please yield in judgment that all features shown in the photos are of microscopic dimensions. The parts highlighted in the images were photographed with a enlargement of at least 4x .

recently, Peter Zgorzynski explained how to detect forgeries of Swiss vreneli coins in the first part of this series .
You can find out more about the generator and his expertness in the Who ’ randomness Who on Peter Zgorzynski .
He already educated CoinsWeekly readers on tungsten counterfeits in this in-depth article.

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You can learn more about identifying counterfeits in our four-part series “ How to detect forgeries ” : part 1, contribution 2, part 3, part 4 .
In our “ Bullion coins ” series, you can find more information on the historic setting and the development of ducats as bullion coins .

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