The term "barbaric imitation" refers to coins that were copied after an official issue. Such imitations emerged soon after the first dissemination of coinage in the Greek world. Until the time of the Migration Period, they appeared regularly at the edges of cultural areas, in which official – i.e. state-controlled – coins were in circulation.To distinguish between imitations and forgeries is not always easy. If a certain coin was copied in the attempt to pass it as the original and thus to take economic advantage at the expense of others, it would be regarded as a forgery. But if a coin was copied to compensate an insufficient money supply, it would be a legitimate imitation – money thus that was issued to bypass a monetary shortage.