Roman Imitative Coins

Coins imitating official coins of an issuing state began almost as soon as coins were 'invented'. These could have been 'official', made by a government running out of precious silver or gold, made by others as a criminal activity, or by other states wishing to emulate the benefits of having their own monetary system.

Imitative coins were a feature of the Roman Republic and Empire from the earliest times to the end of the western empire, a period of 600 years or more. These include, but are not limited to, imitations of bronze coins, silver-plated coins (or fourrées) and so-called "barbarous radiates"[1]. This page attempts to show examples of as many types as possible.

[1] "Barbarous radiates" were imitative coins produced in the late 3rd century. Earlier numismatists, notably Philip V. Hill, theorized that barbarous radiates were produced long after their prototypes by "barbarians" such as the Saxons after the withdrawal of the Romans from Britain. Hill himself later recognised that this was not so and that "barbs" were produced by local workshops within the Roman Empire, either officially or not. Unfortunately the idea that they were produced by contemporary "barbarians" outside of Rome's borders has persisted. So has the term "barbarous" to refer to any crudely executed imitative.

List of Emperors

Click on image for more details and history
Fundanius
after 101 B.C.
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Q. Titius
90 B.C.
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Octavian & Mark Antony
41 BC
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Mark Antony
after 30 BC
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Augustus
after 2 BC
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Tiberius
after 16 AD
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Claudius
after 41 AD
Imitative Sestertius
Vespasian/Domitian
after 69 AD
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Domitian
after 86 AD
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Antoninus Pius
after 148 AD
Full silver imitation Denarius
Septimius Severus
after 213 AD
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Julia Domna
196-211 AD or later
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Caracalla
after 213 AD
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Caracalla
after 216 AD
AE 'Limes' Denarius
Geta
after 200 AD
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Severus Alexander
after 232 AD
Fourrée Denarius (silver-plated AE)
Trebonianus Gallus
after 251 AD
Fourrée Antoninianus (plated AE)
Tetricus I
after 271 AD
"Barbarous Radiate" AE
Tetricus I
after 271 AD
"Barbarous Radiate" AE
Carausius
after 287 AD
"Barbarous Radiate" AE
Temple with dots around
Late 3rd -early 4th Century AD
"Barbarous Radiate" AE
Eagle
Late 3rd -early 4th Century AD
"Barbarous Radiate" AE
Countefeiters Mold
c. 308-311 AD
Constantine I
after 322 AD
Imitative AE
Constantine I
after 322 AD
Imitative AE
Two Victories type
4th Century
Imitative AE
Two Victories type
4th Century
Silvered Imitative AE
Indo-Roman: Sri Lanka
4th Century AD
Imitation of Roman coin
Valentinian II
after 378 AD
Gold plated silver counterfeit Solidus
Uncertain Germanic Tribes
Late 5th, early 6th century AD
Copy of a Tremissis of Zeno




The Republic
The Julio-Claudian Emperors
The Flavian, Adoptive and Antonine Emperors
The Severan Emperors
The Barrack Room Emperors
The Gallic Empire
The Soldier Emperors
The Tetrarchy, Constantine and Licinius
The heirs of Constantine
The Valentinian Emperors to the Fall
Roman Imitative Coins