As is my wont, this a.m. I woke up early to put together my Explorator newsletter and, as is its wont lately, my Internet connection was down. So I flip on the TV and am idly flipping through channels when I hit the Canadian version of the Shopping Channel, which had its ‘coin show’ on. Usually they are selling Canadian coins, but at this particular time they were selling silver drachms from Apollonia Pontika (it turns out) for a couple of hundred dollars each. Of course, they didn’t give a provenance for the coins, which seemed to be in incredibly good condition. The coin is up on their website (along with a video of the presentation I was watching; not sure how long this will be up). Now just so folks know, the coins appear to be Sear SG 1655. A number of (apparently) the same coins are up for sale on eBay. Price ranges from 99.00 to 176.00 on eBay.
Whatever the case, the Shopping Channel had 120 of them for sale and they sold at least 70 in the time I was watching. But I can’t help but wonder where the heck these coins came from. The Shopping Channel guy mentions in passing they came from a horde that was “found recently” but gives no more details. This is obviously a major horde, and if the eBay examples come from the same horde, it’s even larger.
Suspicious? If legit, the lack of provenance makes it so. Then again, folks should check out this page from Wildwinds … seems to be a popular coin to fake … we should also probably mention that when the Shopping Channel has sold ancient coins in the past, it has usually been rather common items (e.g. this from their website) which are incredibly overpriced.