Forgeries of Medieval Bracteates

Polish Numismatic News, Vol. 63(1), pp. 165-177, 2019

14 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2020

See all articles by Roger Svensson

Roger Svensson

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: August 19, 2019


Forgeries of coins can either be contemporary or modern. Already in the Middle Ages, it was well known that bracteates were considerably more difficult to counterfeit than two-faced coins. The main reason is that bracteates are struck with a more complicated technology originating from goldsmithing. Therefore, most bracteate forgeries have been produced since the eighteenth century. Compared to original bracteates, modern bracteate forgeries often have the following characteristics: 1) an incorrect weight; 2) a lower relief; 3) sharper contours on the reverse; 4) an artistically clumsy design; 5) evidence of being struck with the same die if there are several specimens; and/or 6) empty fields in the background.

Keywords: bracteates, forgeries, Middle Ages, counterfeiter, Nicholaus Seeländer, coin production

JEL Classification: N13, O30

Suggested Citation

Svensson, Roger, Forgeries of Medieval Bracteates (August 19, 2019). Polish Numismatic News, Vol. 63(1), pp. 165-177, 2019, Available at SSRN:

Roger Svensson (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

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