Can anyone help me identify this coin?



  • 1
    Welcome to History:SE. It will probably help people to identify the coin if you add information about where it was found. The more information that you can provide, the more likely that someone will be able to help you. You might find it helpful to review the site tour and Help Centre and, in particular, How to Ask. Jul 2, 2018 at 13:53
  • The letters on the obverse appear to be Greek.
    – MCW
    Jul 2, 2018 at 14:56

1 Answer 1


It's a modern or relatively recent fake or fantasy coin, a novelty item of no value.

  • It is too round
  • It looks cast rather than struck
  • The design is too crude
  • It looks like it has black paint rubbed into it.
  • The greek lettering is ungrammatical.
  • It doesn't have the patina and wear pattern normally found on old coins.
  • There are many very similar or near-identical fakes/fantasy/novelty coins sold to tourists.

Useful references

  • "Ancient Greek coin"

    The side with the man in a crown, quite clearly says "Basilea" which means king(even in modern Greek), followed by a name that may say "Selvykou"

    The other side has a herd of animals with the letters "ICA"

    This is a cast coin, and the Greeks were not casting coins. While this might be a contemporary counterfeit, I don't think it's worth much. This could possibly be a "fantasy coin" instead of a counterfeit, because it doesn't look anything like a real 500BC Greek coin.

    but I'm an ancient numismatist, dealer and collector. This coin is definitely not ancient, and definitely not Greek, though the botched legend is in Greek.

  • "unknown coin"

    It is a fantasy coin. The design is very, very loosely based on ancient coins of the Seleucid Empire, but the "herd of pigs" or "herd of elephants" on the reverse was never used on a genuine ancient coin. There are several different varieties and they have been making them since at least the early 20th century, possible even earlier.

    We've seen them several times on the forum before and I've seen a couple on coin dealer scratchtrays here in Australia, so they're certainly not rare

    As for the "King Selvyrou" story, I'm assuming the fake coins came first, and the story explaining them came afterwards. That's because, as I said in the other threads, the obverse legend is actually a blundered Seleucid legend: instead of "BASILEWS SELEYKOY"; it now reads something like "BASILEW SELBYKOY".

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Images from references in above text

Some observations

  • variable number of piglets (i.e. smaller of the quadrupeds of vaguely porcine appearance)
  • variations in spellings of legend
    • 1st letter of 2nd word on coin in Q seems to have morphed somewhere between Σ and Ε
    • 3rd letter of second word morphed between Λ and Μ?
  • variations in neckline of king
  • consistent "mis-struck" beaded border on reverse however.

By way of contrast, here's a coin from the Seleucid era

Image of coin


  • The date ΓΞΡ is year 163 of the Seleucid era, OP's coin has ICΛ in the exergue area (below horizontal line on reverse) - which is therefore presumably also intended to indicate a date.
  • Fine detail of head, which even if heavily worn would not resemble the naïve head of OPs coin.
  • Flat field
  • Lettering of legend is raised from field, not an incised outline of letters.
  • The beaded border would clearly be a complete circle if the coin blank had been aligned properly (unlike OPs coin)
  • 1
    Hmmm...That second quote sounds like an exact description of this coin. So not only is it fake, but its a fake with a rather interesting history.
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 2, 2018 at 19:10

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