IONIA. Ephesos. Phanes, circa 625-600 BC. 1/96 Stater (Subaeratus, 5 mm, 0.14 g), a contemporary plated imitation. Head of a stag to right. Rev. Incuse square punch with raised lines within. BMFA -. SNG von Aulock -, cf. 7788 (1/48 stater and misdescribed as 'head of a griffin'). Weidauer -. Extremely rare in this denomination. Minor breaks in plating, otherwise, very fine.
The history of coinage is also a history of forgeries, and this coin is among the earliest recorded examples of a plated forgery, where a thin outer layer of precious metal covers a base metal core.