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Trying to Pin down when this FAKE Mexican Peso was made  

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Pillar of the Community
United States
1037 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2012  4:04 pm Show Profile   Check ilikeikes's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add ilikeikes to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I collect contemporary counterfeits,(not modern, or fantasy coins), and am wondering if this fake 1908 Peso looks NEw or "old"...hard for me to tell whether this is a newish Chinese spinoff..I'm new to all of this, so, learning a lot. Remember, we KNOW its a fake..just want to know old or new, that's all/

Redwood Empire Coin Club#788

Pillar of the Community
United States
1037 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2012  5:07 pm  Show Profile   Check ilikeikes's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ilikeikes to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thinking here(dangerous, I know)--perhaps this IS an old fake..SUPPOSED to be silver, and, maybe the silver wash has worn away with time, exposing the base metal..which would make new Chinese out..I have an 1823 fake GB half-crown, with just a tad of silver wash on it, after all the years of's a beautiful "real" fake I got in a lot sale from eBay last month.
opinions needed.

Redwood Empire Coin Club#788

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 Posted 01/18/2012  6:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Most of the Strong Peso fakes date to the period of insurgency when the silver value of the coin began to exceed the face value. The earlier silver coins were hoarded and/or melted at that time leaving a VOID in circulating coinage. This was filled by Token issues (Revolutionary pieces) and counterfeits.

They were NOT forged as "Contemporary" issues after 1919 because by that date they WERE NO LONGER CIRCULATING. The period of circulation of a coin determines the length of time that a "contemporary" copy can be made.

So if the coin was made after about 1919 it falls into the non-circulating fraud category.

The technology used on this coin to make image was a "Transfer Technology" the type of image transfer will determine WHEN it was made. A second factor will be the metallurgy used. And the final factor will be how the coin was made.

The pictures provide the clues but in hand you can get better detail by studying the coin with a microscope.

The 1908 is a VERY common Forgery in a silver washed or tinned copper/brass alloy. Many coins of this exact type were discovered in the big hoard of reclaimed counterfeits discovered in the 1990's in northern Mexico. The facility dated back to the late 1800's and was abandoned and fell into ruins sometime before WWII. From the hoard contents the earliest dated coin was 1836 (but that was a single isolated coin) the majority were from the 1870's to 1910. The very latest date I have seen from the hoard is 1919.

Your coin looks like many from that hoard. Any silver on the coin was reclaimed chemically and the copper/brass cores were thrown away in large containers and were buried.

Your coin appears to be an early form of transfer technology - the image was not fully transferred. The dies or molds used appear to have been recut by hand engraving to strengthen elements that did not copy clearly. Here is where the microscope comes in.

How are images transferred? Making a casting of the surface is as old as forgery. Techniques used in dating look at the grain of the transfer matrix. A sand cast is at one end of the spectrum OLD and a dental plastic matrix is at the other end NEW.

But casting is not the only way to do it.

The impact transfer technology using a shotgun is about as old as a shotgun. The details transfer poorly and the dies/molds are often recut. I suspect this is how your impression was made.

There are electronic techniques as well. Galvanic action was known as early as 1796 but was not used for a while to make electrotypes (1820-1830). Later spark erosion was used to make an impression (post US Civil War era). These dies also needed touch up but they produce a "ragged" edge on letters so that they are often widened. More recently photo etching of dies - up to computer engraving is used but these are VERY MODERN and nothing in the pictures says NEW to me.

So the techniques and possible dates are numerous but focus into the 1908-1919 time frames WELL.

Based on what I see your coin is a Circulating Contemporary Counterfeit and NOT a new one.

However I can not see the edge. One factor used is the manufacturing techniques. The edge is important is this regard. A seam can mean an electrotype or a casting. Hand cut reeds means an early rather than later date in most case. A roller applied edge with an overlap is a mid-20th century method but was used in the 1890s. The ring die technology is VERY recent perhaps 50 years or so.

The coin could be cast or struck. Neither is more common in the 1908-1919 era. But a ring die edger is DEATH in this case.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon or from me directly if you want it signed.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1037 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2012  8:04 pm  Show Profile   Check ilikeikes's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ilikeikes to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fantasic knowledge swamper...I'm speechless(a rare event)...I've got a lot to learn in this most challenging field of detective work regarding fakes-counterfeits and forgeries.
Thank you for the report..outstanding.

Redwood Empire Coin Club#788

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