An eBay dealer in UK listed a fake coin for $2500. Claimed he had a BM identification. The Auction was stopped when informed it was fake, but seller still claimed it was real. BM sent me E-mail confirming that in their opinion it is modern fake.
Same coin is listed within a month again on eBay Auction by another UK seller for e150. Seller stops Auction when Informed. I email first seller who says he returned it to supplier, 2nd eBay seller said he got it from trusted supplier. 2nd seller stopped 3 other auctions early around same time. One of which a solidus was posted on Monetat-L as Fake. Didn't reply if it was same supplier.
Dutch Occupation of Portuguese Ceylon. c,1645
ULTRA RARE Double C/stamped. SILVER TANGA
ebay Item number: 2212206267
Bidding has ended for this item
The seller ended this listing early because the item is no longer available for sale.
Starting bid: US $2,500.00
Ended: Dec-26-03 13:15:55 PST
History: 0 bids
Location: England, United Kingdom
Feedback rating: 498
Positive feedback: 99.4%
Registered May-19-99 in United Kingdom
An amazing coin. (Made in far away Ceylon during the same time period as The English Civil War and the execution of Charles I).This 4 Tanga piece is an "ultra" early coin of great rarity and interest to both Portuguese AND Dutch collectors.
This is one of only perhaps a small handful l of surviving examples of this coin. Originally struck in about 1645 for use in the then "far flung" Portuguese colony of Ceylon,(modern day Sri Lanka). The coin was later (post 1655) Counter-stamped (twice in this case) with the Dutch Occupation VOC and VO counter-stamps.This large silver(28mm)undated type is by far the rarest of a small number of varieties.
Condition is undoubtedly at least EF for this issue and type. The coin has zero problems and no damage.
Difficult to price,(The Catalogue just states "RARE")..but based upon the more common and much smaller dated denominations which catalogue at between US$650-US$800 each in "VF" we feel that a starting price of US$2500 is about right for this much larger and excessively rare "EF" coin.
Subject: Question for seller -- Item #2212206267 Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 06:32:22 PST Could you please let me know the weight of this Tanga to 0.01 grams if possible. Thanks Question from: kavan Title of item: Dutch Occupation of Portuguese Ceylon. c,1645 Seller: dragonbrit Starts: Dec-21-03 10:13:22 PST Ends: Dec-31-03 10:13:22 PST Price: Starts at $2,500.00 To view the item, go to: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2212206267
From: Dragonbrit@aol.com To: email@example.com Subject: TANGA ... Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 12:17:34 EST Hello ... Thanks for your note and question. Im getting new batteries for my Grammes Weigh Scale in the morning. I will e-mail you the exact weight tomorrow morning. Please look for the e-mail at around 10 am. MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ENGLAND. Alan
From: Kavan Ratnatunga
To: Dragonbrit@aol.com Subject: Re: TANGA ... Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 12:40:48 -0500 Hello Alan, It will be also very useful if you could e-mail me a 600 dpi or higher resolution scan of the coin which clearly shows the details of the counter-marks. It is to be expected for a high value coin like this. Also what Guarantee of Authenticity do you give. Do you have any provenance on this item. With best regards and Seasons Greeting Kavan
From: Dragonbrit@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: TANGA ... Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 13:00:30 EST Hi Kavan ... I will try to get a closer shot of the counter stamps in the morning when I can get a daylight picture of the coin. The authenticity of the coin is 100% without question ... 100% guaranteed ! The coin was recently checked out (and identified for my client) by the Coin & Medals Department of THE BRITISH MUSEUM. It doesn't get any better than that ! Like most coins of this type it showed up in a junk box some time ago at an antiques show. As you might know, England is the "real" Treasure Island as far as old foreign coins are concerned ... I never cease to marvel at the stuff that shows up here ... For me it's been a Lifetimes joy to be in this business ... England administered & our Royal Navy (and its sailors ) virtually ran the entire "useful" world until about 1875 ( 66% of the land mass of planet earth...and 90% of the ocean !!) and brought back here to this little Island of England just about every strange and wonderful item you can think of ! This was obviously one of those items. Please look for my e-mail in the morning ... Have a good evening... Christmas Greetings from us all here in London England ... Alan
From: Dragonbrit@aol.com To: email@example.com Subject: TANGA ( Further details ) Picture of C/S # 1 Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 07:25:49 EST Hello again Kavan. I am having difficulty getting my gramme scale to work, but I have done some clever maths here with a simple beam balance for comparison with an English half-crown of known weight. I will tell you that + or - about 2% the Tanga weighs in at almost exactly 14 grammes. Which is almost exactly half a basic traditional ounce. Here are also the enlargements of the two counter-stamps 1) The upper left counter-stamp is here first. Alan
From: Dragonbrit@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: TANGA Picture of Counter-stamp #2 Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 07:29:34 EST I am going to see if I can borrow another computer weighing machine at jewelers in the town centre. so I will be back with you late (hopefully) with a spot on accurate reading of weight. It will be interesting to see how close I was with my math and logic ! Alan
From: Dragonbrit@aol.com To: email@example.com Subject: TANGA ( The exact weight !) Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 08:32:43 EST Hi again Kavan ... I've just managed to get my scale working correctly. The Tanga weighs in at exactly 12.6 grammes. I hope the pictures and the weight help you to be further interested in this rare coin. As I said the coins is guaranteed 100% genuine. Good luck in the auction ... MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM LONDON ENGLAND ... Alan UK
From: Dragonbrit@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: TANGA Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 09:54:24 EST Hi Kavan ... My client got the coin back stapled to a BM compliments slip inside one of their white paper envelopes with a basic description written on it . I have no idea who did the ID on the coin but you can take it from me that its 100% Ok ! The note is dated 12.7 which is 12th July of this year. I can't get any closer or better resolution on the coin with my camera. I normally only use it for life sized and "up a bit" pictures in .jpg mode on the net ... It does real well at that I think and you can even see the die sinkers smoothing lines on the field that were present on the original dies when they were prepared. I've had over 15 e-mails about this coin so far . One from a major institution that is about to make me a direct offer for the coin .I will tell you what I've told them. My best price on this coin to take if off line and sell privately is 1500 (today that's approx US$2675 ) OR you can bid for the coin on line starting at US$2500 So If you wish to have it I might I respectfully suggest that it's a good idea to place an opening bid on it. If this one does not sell for any reason its going into my pension fund. Looking forward to your further advice ... Thanks ... Alan
From: Dragonbrit@aol.com To: email@example.com Subject: Re: TANGA Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 09:55:07 EST I will also TRY and get my camera to do something else a bit larger file ... I hope I can Alan
From: Dragonbrit@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: TANGA ( BIGGEST POSSIBLE FILE ) Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 10:12:41 EST Hi Kavan ... Ive just taken a new pic on "four spots" setting on my camera. The two pics took about 1 minute each to down load so they must be better. Anyway... here they are .. hope they are what you need ... Alan
From: Kavan Ratnatunga
To: Dragonbrit@aol.com Subject: Re: TANGA ( BIGGEST POSSIBLE FILE ) Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 10:43:48 -0500 Hi Alan, Thanks. Image is lot better. I have written to BM for clarification. I will keep in touch. Best regards Kavan
From: Dragonbrit@aol.com To: email@example.com Subject: Re: TANGA Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 10:44:42 EST thanks Kavan ... Alan
From: "Kavan Ratnatunga"
To: "Jan Lingen" Date: Mon, December 22, 2003 8:45 PM Subject: C/M TANGA on eBay Hi Jan, I would like your comments on C/M tanga you must have seen on eBay. In E-mail below he claims to have shown it to BM. Not sure I trust that. The C/M are badly drawn or non regular. Seasons Greetings and best regards Kavan
From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Dec 23 07:00:14 2003 Subject: Re: C/M TANGA on eBay To: email@example.com Hi Kavan, The 4 tanga as well as the c/m's are dubious. I can't imagine that the BM has declared that the coin, as well as the c/m's, as genuine. The seller says it is 100% genuine, but I would take of two digits (0% genuine). Best Wishes, Jan.
From: Kavan Ratnatunga
To: Joe Cribb Subject: 4 Tanga double C/M Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 10:43:48 -0500 Dear Joe Cribb A seller of a 4 Tanga coin on eBay claims that it was shown to BM on 2003 July 12th. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2212206267 I am not sure to whom it was shown. I am very curious if it even was. Does BM keep a record of opinios given. Neither Jan Lingen or myself feel that BM could have pronounced this Tanga genuine, Please let me know. With seasons Greetings and best regards Kavan Ratnatunga http://coins.lakdiva.org/
From: Joe Cribb
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: 4 Tanga double C/M Date: Thu, 08 Jan 2004 10:29:14 +0000 Dear Kavan I tried to look at the picture on ebay, but I couldn't get any response from the picture site. I don't remeber seeing a genuine one of these recently, but often see fakles. Can you copy me the image to see if it rings any bells. Happy New Year Joe Joe Cribb Keeper of Coins and Medals British Museum Great Russell Street London WC1B 3DG Direct: 0207 323 8585 Message: 0207 323 8607 Fax: 0207 323 8171 email: email@example.com www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/cm/cmhome.html
From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Jan 8 13:29:23 2004 Subject: Re: 4 Tanga double C/M To: Joe Cribb
Dear Joe, Thanks for your reply. I have put the images he sent me and also his E-mail in http://coins.lakdiva.org/unknown/tanga4.html He claims it was shown to BM on 12th July 2003. Does BM keep a record. Happy New Year to you Best regards Kavan
From email@example.com Fri Jan 9 07:29:26 2004 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: 4 Tanga double C/M Dear Kavan, I don't like this coin. We have five examples of the Malacca 4 tanga made at Goa under Philip III and they are all made to the usual standards of the Goa mint, with carefully engraved castles on the shiled and detailed fleur de lis in the crown. The recorded specimens in this style are a piece of 1633 with date under shield and denomination under DM, and pieces dated 1634-8 with date under DM and no denomination. A Gomes Moedas Portuguesas, Lisbon 1987 p. 379, type F3, no 23.01 illustrates a piece from the same dies as the offered piece and lists it as 'duvidoso'. I think that translates as dubious. I am inclined to agree with him that the coin is a modern forgery. Members of staff of the British Museum cannot accept liability for opinions they may express on objects submitted for identification or for information; neither can they give valuations.'The British Museum Coins and Medals Department staff are experienced specialists in coins covering a very wide range of series within the subject. Their opinions are well informed and considered, but still remain opinions for which they cannot accept liability. For this reason the British Museum does not provide certificates or written assurances of authenticity. The Department's first aim in this context is to identify coins and related objects for the general public. Staff may also give opinions on whether a coin is likely to be genuine or false. British Museum staff do not give valuations. Staff will always make it clear that any opinion we give on identity and authenticity are intended to inform not to certify. The opinion service provided by the British Museum is free to the general public. British Museum staff are always happy to see an object again and repeat their opinion if there is any reason for doubt. Best regards Joe
From email@example.com Fri Jan 9 13:47:03 2004 To: Dragonbrit@aol.com Subject: [Fwd: Re: 4 Tanga double C/M] Hello Alan, I got a reply from BM attached below. I know you withdrew the coin from Auction. You said > If this one does not sell for any reason its going > into my pension fund. If you kept it for your pension fund I think you need to reconsider and return it to your client. If you sold it please convey BM's opinion below to buyer. I any case I look forward to a reply from you. With best regards Kavan
From Dragonbrit@aol.com Fri Jan 9 13:55:13 2004 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: 4 Tanga double C/M] Thanks Kavan. The coin is 100% genuine...but no problem. The BM are very good but there is no way this is a forgery. Thanks for your interest .........Alan
From email@example.com Fri Jan 9 14:13:55 2004 To: Dragonbrit@aol.com Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: 4 Tanga double C/M] Hi Alan, Do you doubt the opinion of Joe Cribb of BM. You said on 22 Dec 2003 > The coin was recently checked out (and identified for > my client) by the Coin & Medals Department of THE BRITISH MUSEUM. > It doesn't get any better than that ! On what basis do you now say it is 100% genuine. Do you know more about these coins than BM best regards Kavan
From Dragonbrit@aol.com Fri Jan 9 14:26:21 2004 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: 4 Tanga double C/M] I'm happy with the coin ...... There is no doubt that both the coin and the counterstamps are 100% genuine .Thanks
NETHERLANDS INDIES - RARE COLONIAL SILVER !! ebay Item number: 2220207533 Bidding has ended for this item The seller ended this listing early because the item is no longer available for sale. Starting bid: EUR 150.00 Approximately US $186.26 Ended: Jan-24-04 02:53:33 PST History: 0 bids Location: Yorkshire United Kingdom Featured Plus! Listing Seller information hildebrand_amalric( 369) Feedback Score: 369 Positive Feedback: 99.7% Member since Mar-11-01 in United Kingdom Visit this seller's eBay Store! vigornia numismatics
NETHERLANDS INDIES This coin was recently found in England. The British Museum has identified it as being a two tanga piece, struck in the seventeenth century for use in Portuguese Ceylon, and later overstruck by the Dutch East India Company for use in the Dutch colonies. It bears two small countermarks containing the initials VOC. The grade is very fine. For more interesting Roman and early English coins and artefacts, please see my other listings, and please visit my store, Vigornia Numismatics ! You may bid with confidence - every item I offer is guaranteed to be original and authentic.
Question from: kavan Title of item: NETHERLANDS INDIES - RARE COLONIAL SILVER !! Seller: hildebrand_amalric Starts: Jan-23-04 06:11:49 PST Ends: Jan-30-04 06:11:49 PST Price: Starts at EUR 150.00 To view the item, go to: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2220207533 I assume this is the same as ebay Item number: 2212206267 which was withdrawn from Auction, Images of it shown in http://coins.lakdiva.org/unknown/tanga4.html Unless it is a Fake from the same mold Joe Crib Keeper of Coins and Medals, British Museum said in an E_mail to me ********************************************************** A Gomes Moedas Portuguesas, Lisbon 1987 p. 379, type F3, no 23.01illustrates a piece from the same dies as the offered piece and lists it as 'duvidoso'. I think that translates as dubious. I am inclined to agree with him that the coin is a modern forgery. Whichever of my colleagues saw the piece last yearmight not have been asked the question 'is this genuine'in which case they would only have identified the type. Best regards Joe ********************************************************** Please do not shamelessly sell fake coins as real missrepresenting BM. Thanks Kavan http://coins.lakdiva.org/
From Clive@hildebrand-amalric.fsnet.co.uk Sat Jan 24 06:05:10 2004 To:
Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2220207533 I have received your message. It appears to be identical to the coin you refer me to, or else so similar as to call its authenticity into question. I have therefore withdrawn it from sale. I bought this coin from a colleague in this country, together with a note from the British Museum, identifying it. Nowhere on the note do the BM describe it as false, and I know that if they consider a coin to be wrong, then they say so. That is their job. I therefore bought and offered the piece in good faith. While I appreciate your informing me that the coin is doubtful, please do not use words such as shameless and misrepresenting to me. I have built a good feedback on eBay by offering quality and value, and this mistake has occurred through no fault of mine! Clive.
From kur Sat Jan 24 12:22:13 2004 To: Clive@hildebrand-amalric.fsnet.co.uk Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2220207533 Clive, Thanks for withdrawing the coin from Auction. Sorry for accusing you for a mistake you made trusting your source. I agree BM should write if it is false. I told them so, If you would be kind enough to send me a scan of the BM note then I can ask Joe Crib of BM to identify who wrote it up and make sure it does not happen again. I would also like to confirm if it is the same item or different. Could you please send me it's weight. I am curious why you call it a 2 Tanga and the previous Auction called it a 4 Tanga. What does the BM note say. If the two items are different then it is 100% Proof it is a fake. I have seen another such matching pair of a different tanga in Sri Lanka. I trust you will help in identifying it, and I hope you will get back what you paid for it. What ever information you can provide will help identify the source of these fakes and help the hobby of numismatics which is currently seeing to many fake coins on eBay. With best regards Kavan http://coins.lakdiva.org/
To: "Kavan Ratnatunga" Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2220207533 Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 11:54:53 -0000 Hello Kavan, Thank you for your second message. I have now had a chance to read the information you sent me. I rather suspect that the two coins are the same piece. All the flan flaws and marks correspond. I had no idea that this item was so rare. The fact that I was able to offer it at 150 euros makes it certain that my specimen is false. I am therefore returning it for a refund. As you request, I am attaching a scan of the BM description. It is not a very formal note, but I was told that it is the handwriting of the BM official who identified it, and I had no reason to doubt the word of the person who sold it to me. I don't know whether it will be legible when you receive it, but it reads: "Portuguese Ceylon. Double tanga (?) mid C17th AD. Countermarked by the Dutch". I described it as a 2 Tanga, on the strength of this. Its weight is a little over 12 grams. I hope this is of help. Best wishes, Clive.
From kur Sun Jan 25 09:14:07 2004 To: Clive@hildebrand-amalric.fsnet.co.uk, email@example.com Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2220207533 Hi Clive, The previous seller said as per that page I posted "BM compliments slip inside one of their white paper envelopes with a basic description written on it . The note is dated 12.7 which is 12th July of this year." Since there is no date and since the weight makes it a fake of a 4-tanga. I suspect yours is not the original BM slip. IMHO someone decided a very expensive 4-tanga gets to much attention and decided to market them as less rare double tanga. > All the flan flaws and marks correspond. They do on these Fakes since the Flan flaws are simulated. Does it look like a cast ? I fear that more of these will appear on eBay and sold to unknowing collectors. Please try to find out as much as possible from your source. If it is the same piece surely it can be traced back to the previous dealer who tried to sell it for $2500/- just one month ago. Else both can be traced back to someone dumping this crap into the market. Please help to keep this crap off the market. Kavan
From firstname.lastname@example.org Sun Jan 25 09:29:41 2004 To: Dragonbrit@aol.com Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: 4 Tanga double C/M] Hello Alan Your coin or another identical copy appeared on eBay Auction. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2220207533 That seller stopped Auction when informed. I would very much like to know if it is the same coin or another. If it is another then they are both 100% Fake. Please let me know if you still have your coin. With best regards Kavan
From Dragonbrit@aol.com Sun Jan 25 09:34:35 2004 To: email@example.com Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 09:34:31 EST Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: 4 Tanga double C/M] Hello again......... I did further research into this coin and found that it was a fake ..... I returned the coin to my supplier who I informed that it was wrong . This "seems" to be the same coin. Im not aware who this last ebay seller is .......Alan
From Clive@hildebrand-amalric.fsnet.co.uk Sun Jan 25 09:57:07 2004 To: "Kavan Ratnatunga"
Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2220207533 I do not have the compliment slip, but what I do have is the front of the BM envelope, with the basic description written on it. That is what I sent to you. I did not buy this from "dragonbrit", and do not know how many hands it had passed through in between. I am annoyed it was dumped on myself, but it was sold to me, along with a group of other items, by a dealer I have dealt with for very many years, and I have no reason to think he acted in anything other than good faith. In reply to your question, I think this is a struck piece. I will indeed have a serious word with him, and ask him to help in keeping stuff like this off the market. Fakes just get better and better. I am nervous about buying Roman statuettes now, because one just never knows. Regards, Clive.
From kur Sun Jan 25 10:21:12 2004 To: Clive@hildebrand-amalric.fsnet.co.uk Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2220207533 Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Clive, I just got this as reply just now from Drogonbrit. I assume it is the same supplier Kavan
From kur Sun Jan 25 10:56:44 2004 To: Clive@hildebrand-amalric.fsnet.co.uk, email@example.com Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2220207533 Hi Clive, I just read on CFDL about http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CoinForgeryDiscussionList/message/6229 I am sure it must not be a good day for you. Please let me know if it was the same source as the Tanga, we might be able to identify the true source of this crap. With best regards Kavan