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1789 8 Reales

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 Posted 02/21/2013  02:37 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add D0ubl3Eagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I picked it up at a coin just recently. While a bit worn, it has a nice look to it. I would like to confirm whether or not it's authentic. It weighs 26.72g and I have taken two pictures of the edge where I think the overlaps are. Any additional comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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 Posted 02/21/2013  2:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The coin looks real to me. The overlaps are OK. Fonts are good. And most importantly the windows in the castle are rectangles.

There is a 1789 version where the windows on the castle are distorted into a keyhole shape at the left and a round porthole at the right.

This defective punch is used from at least 1784 to 1789 on COUNTERFEITS. Or at least every one I have managed to win is a fake. But I keep getting outbid on eBay. I have tried 3 times bidding about $90 to get a 1789 F/VF example. I have the earlier ones but the transitional style. That coin is tougher - more in demand as a type coin.

It is a class 2 style but some are very low in SG so they could be classed as later Class 1 coins. They are made from a transfer punch set in which each elemental punch (like a castle) is copied from a real coin. This allows the forger to make numerous dies that are almost identical but spaced differently.

I will post a picture of what I mean if I have taken one. The coins themselves are all in the bank.
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 Posted 02/22/2013  08:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wonghinghi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

The coin looks real to me. The overlaps are OK. Fonts are good. And most importantly the windows in the castle are rectangles.

It is swamperbob's sentenses intrigue me to post the two coins of 1789 8 Reales of Mexico.

If D0ubl3Eagle's 1789 8R is a genuine specimen, I will suppose one of my coins is also a genuine and the other might be a Class 2 CC.

I suppose my Coin A is genuine because there are rectagular castle windows (according to swamperbob) and I suppose my Coin B is a comtemporary counterfeit. See the and pictures of both coins and make your judgements.

Coin A: Bought from eBay(2012), 38.3-39.0mm, 26.80 grams, S.G.10.26 (85.6%Ag)

Coin B: Bought in HK(2008-9), 38.4-38.7mm, 26.61 grams, S.G.10.15 (78.8%Ag)

S.G. of both coins were measured on same day so they were subjected to same experimental deviation.

Only one edge overlap observed in Coin A.

Two edge overlaps observed in Coin B.

It is full of contradictions if I suppose my Coin A is a genuine specimen for two reasons:
i) no two opposite edge overlaps
ii) when you compare my Coin A with D0ubl3Eagle's piece, you will find the base of the left pillar on the reserse points to different position. (compare red cicles of the pictures)

Having seen all three coins, I tend to conclude D0ubl3Eagle's piece is an intermix of my two coins in regard to the shape of castle windows and the position of the base of the left pillar on the reserve side.

Below is D0ubl3Eagle's picture:

I will be very thankful if you(swamperbob) can elaborate more on your observations.
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 Posted 02/22/2013  11:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jfransch to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting coins you posted. Have you given thought to the idea that both of your coins are fake. The coin B you posted in my humble opinion is a definite counterfeit and I also think your coin A is a counterfeit due to the lack of overlap on the edge and the distortion on the details on the reverse. I have posted the reverse of one of my 1789MoFM Carlos IV transitional pieces so you can see the differences. If you care to message me I can send you a high resolution scan where you will see the differences clearly.
As for position of the "dot" in relation to the bottom row of the pillar (called the "Plinth" if you want to know the technical term), the "dot" and other items in the legends were hand punched into the die and can vary in position from die to die. What should always match on real coins is the "look" of the devices since they should have all been punched from the same punch. However spacing can vary from die to die.
Swamperbob, as always we all are waiting for your observations on the coins in question.

"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
-Mark Twain
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 Posted 02/22/2013  11:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Pertinax to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm starting to think that my specimens might be fakes.

I don't understand the meaning of 'edge overlap'.

Could you explain this, please and show pics of the 'edge overlap' on genuine coins and fake coins.
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 Posted 02/22/2013  12:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
jfransch is correct in my opinion. I see both as Class 2 Silver restrikes - Circulating counterfeits made after 1830. These coins are far more common than the average collector is aware of. In fact we have seen so many of them so often that it is easy to be more suspicious of a real coin than a typical well made Silver restrike.

The SG tests prove they are counterfeit as long as the tests were accurate and I have no reason to doubt that. So regardless of any other factors present we start from BOTH BEING FAKES (or at least frauds). Restrikes are by definition NOT originals. They may be of equal value because collectors are simply unable to distinguish the two types.

All we need is to decide what class they fall into.

Class 1 coins are usually lower in silver than what is reported here. In fact, I place no coins that assay greater than 70% in Class 1. Also Class 1 coins were made BEFORE transfer technologies for image replication existed (other than casting). These two coins are clearly not casts from before 1830. They appear to be strikes from dies. It is how the dies were made and when that is key.

But by definition Class 1 is ruled out.

The Class 2 coins run a range of purity from just UNDER to just OVER the correct assay. In the early years of production the Restrikes in silver tended to be under assay by 12-16% according to period sources (British) who assayed them. The British were interested because local Chinese knock off restrikes were (1835) cutting into their business for restrikes and the Chinese copies cut the premium in half. So the British actually introduced SG to the schroff to KILL the local Chinese manufacture of restrikes. By the 1840s the schroffs used SG. The Chinese forgers improved their coins to 2-3% off tops by the 1890s. The same went for the US, UK, Netherlands and France who were all making portrait dollars for trade. Most restrikes were 900 fine some even over (10.4 is as high as I have seen). I suspect some used sterling made from English coins when silver refining was not possible.

These are the Class 2 coins made with various forms of die copying after 1830.

One early method of die copying involved making punches of each element from real coins. The process used an electro-formed mold of the coin from which porcelain molds were made to cast individual punches. Casting of each individual part means that the letters numbers and features look IDENTICAL to originals but spacing and alignment can vary. This is how I suspect the "keyhole" castles were created - because of a small casting chip. The counterfeit punch was used on several different dates from 1785 to 1789 which is what got me suspicious in the first place. The fact that the keyhole coin is about 80% silver fits the early 1830-1840 type. The other coin may be in the same range but could be later.

The A coin also has ONE EDGE overlap. It is a counterfeit because of the way these coins were made. That is simple. So A must be a Class 2.

The B coin with a 12% low alloy also can not be real and must be from the 1830-1840 period. The fact it has two edge overlaps only proves the forger knew how to get that right and used a two bar edger mill.

REMEMBER - a forger can always get a feature RIGHT. But when a coin has an error that is PHYSICALLY impossible for an original or when a Mexico City product deviates from alloy standard by 5% or more - the COIN IS A COUNTERFEIT no matter how many other factors are CORRECT.

This is like a ball game where the forger gets ONE STRIKE.

If a coin has 99 correct features but ONE impossible one - it is a fake unless there is a reasonable explanation for the deviation.

THat simple fact is hard to get across to people who want to believe their coin is real - but facts are FACTS,

In the case of the ORIGINAL COIN posted in this thread - remember it still could be counterfeit. It is just that the facts presented to this time do not indicate that. If the first coin was tested with XRF and cadmium was discovered as a trace contaminant I would look long and hard because the XRF would be telling me the coin dated to the 1940s or later.

We have tested coins that we thought were real that became counterfeit as a result of the XRF tests disclosing an impossible alloy and we have had some coins that we are positive are counterfeit that XRF tests show as Regal alloy.

But the difference is that the first coin that we thought was real IS COUNTERFEIT.

But the second is NOT PROVEN GENUINE by a good XRF test.
Edited by swamperbob
02/22/2013 12:28 pm
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 Posted 02/22/2013  1:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In re-reading the posts I see a potential area of misunderstanding. These coins were made with dies that DO NOT MATCH. Each die was punched by hand and every one is different.

The dies for Portrait coins were NEVER hubbed from master dies. Each die was made with a set of individual punches referred to as a matrix punch set.

A die could not be hubbed until steam power was available to create the pressure needed to press a punch into the die face. A manual press or even the horse driven press could not make an 8 reales die in one pressing.

A punch can contain as little as a STOP the period between words in the legends or it can be as large as the King's portrait. So the stop locations vary - they are great die identifiers - almost no one notices them but they are so small that it is easy to distinguish two dies by these tiny features.

Just try to find two coins made from the same die. Unless you have coins from a hoard you are going to have to hunt for a while to do it.Remember Mexico literally produced HUNDREDS of dies each year and no two were identical.

No one I know has the gut, patience or money to attempt a die sequence for the Mexico City 8 Reales.

The biggest punch which was set into the blank die face was called the KING punch. It was the first set after the die face was ground and centered. Once the King punch was set, the die was checked the graver added a series of scribed circles for positioning the legend and date. The starting spots of the words were laid out on the die face with tick marks on the arcs and finally the punches for each letter or number were set along the guide lines.

The gravers setting lines or ticks were polished off the die in the final steps before completing the die. The last detail added was the dentils. This is the most common place for a setters arc to be visible - between the dentils.

Forgers using individual dies often start wide and crowd at the ends (poor planning) or they do not use arcs and the legends go all over. Die cutting is an art passed down father to son (in my case uncle to nephew).

On the reverse the Shield outlines are the King punch and each element gets punched in ONE at a time. The two castles and lions are made with one punch each so they match but the location varies. The pillars get punched in one at a time so the angle and precise position varies. The crown is a punch so it can be tilted - in contact or not.

Each fleur-de-lis and the pomegranate are individual punches. But the letters on the ribbons are NOT punched elements they are part of the pillar punch.

When a punch sets poorly the graver can correct, strengthen or add tiny elements using a series of engraving tools.

If you get Gilboy's book on Columnarios he has a photograph of an actual 1772 Portrait Matrix block for the reverse. Some mints like Lima and even Bolivia at times used a partial shield punch which can get confusing but that is a different story we are dealing with Mexico City here.

So if you see a stop in a different location on two coins that is all right. But if you see stops in the wrong spot - say between the 8 and R in the denomination look closely. In the case I was reviewing yesterday with the stop between the 8 and R the coin was counterfeit.
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 Posted 02/22/2013  2:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jfransch to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great question, let me try and clarify. 8 Reales coins were edged using two parallel dies, so half the image came from 1 die and the other half from the other die. Imagine two parallel lines and the coin being rolled between them. At 180 degrees (half a circle) the image from the one die would intersect the image on the other die resulting a spot where the edge image in overlapped. See the images for coin B in the post above where the two points of overlap are very clear.
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
-Mark Twain
Edited by jfransch
02/23/2013 12:43 am
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 Posted 02/22/2013  3:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add D0ubl3Eagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I remember reading that if one of the overlaps is aligned then the other must be. So it would be correct to say that the same must be true if they are misaligned?

On my coin, I noticed that the ribbons, as they go behind the pillars, look a little weak when compared to other 8 reales and even ones from this date like the one posted by jfransch. The ribbon is completely broken at the P which I haven't seen yet on examples from this date or others. So would these be caused by a defective punch and the weakness caused by something like die polishing?

Thank you for all the the help, swamperbob. I am going to have to bookmark this thread for future reference.
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 Posted 02/22/2013  8:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
D0ubl3Eagle You say

if one of the overlaps is aligned then the other must be. So it would be correct to say that the same must be true if they are misaligned?

The answer is a qualified - of course. But I do not want to mislead with that answer.

The overlaps are always opposite one another and of equal length. They are not aligned with the faces of the coin in any fashion. With respect to the face designs the overlaps are entirely random in location because they are placed on the blank BEFORE it is struck.

If you mean by alignment do the designs always meet at the same relative position on the edge - the answer would be YES and NO. There is going to be an effect YES but the effect is not necessarily even visible so NO.

Presuming that at the starting starting points of both designs are aligned dead center on the edge of the blank - then the effect of a wobble or drift to one side can occur on one or both sides but only to an extend governed by the precise shape of the blank, any spurrs that may be present and the physical design of the mill.

How far a design can wobble is a function of the physical dimensions top to bottom of the individual edge die design and the placement of the retaining lip on the die. I expect that varied in practice even in Mexico City. BUT I have never even attempted to define the limits.

If one side is somehow forced off center significantly the design being cut opposite should show the effect by becoming deeper on one side of the point opposite. The edge tilts to match the angle ofother side. This effect is so small it may not even be visible on worn examples. Remember that the cross section between the two points of contact is a RECTANGLE defined by the thickness and the diameter of the planchet. Granted this is a shallow rectangle but the planchet is NOT flexible and neither are the dies.

Here is a line diagram of the basic mill process.

The physics of the apparatus dictate that one side always effects a point exactly opposite. For example, in the case of a clipped planchet the impression opposite the clip become weaker. For a thick burr both impressions get deeper.

The second sketch is compressed (not to scale) but the contact rectangle I refer to is shown here. Tilting the blank causes an effect on the side exactly opposite. If there is a closely placed retaining lip - there is NO WOBBLE at all. If one die has a broken or worn retaining lip ONE side might try to rise but the amount would be limited in the distance it could travel. If neither die has a retaining lip as in the lower part the sketch then the coin can even POP OUT. This would limit production rates so a lip is essential as part of the design.

So what you are proposing is an edge die with a sloppy fit that allows for significant travel of the blank up and down while still contacting the edge die face. That did happen on many counterfeiters mills.

Some pictures of actual mint edging dies and mills look as if the blanks were fed into a rather deep slot in the two facing dies. This would definitely limit travel. Effectivly eliminating it. But other pictures show a flat table surface and a die with a single upper retaining lip.

So to answer the question correctly, the actual apparatus used to edge the coin would need to be known. I have seen pictures of the Mexico City mill and know what that one looks like and how it operated. I presume the other mints were similar.

Based on how the edges appear on genuine coins I believe my inferences are correct. But I could be wrong - there were several mills at each mint and perhaps they expiremented with designs.

However, when all is said and done only experience examining genuine and counterfeit edges will allow conclusions to be drawn. At this point in time I know of no other studies being made of this process.
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 Posted 02/22/2013  10:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wonghinghi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is really a comprehensive post to be bookmarked. Swamperbob, thank you for your patience to tell your opinions and the detailed explanation of how a die be made. Jfransch, it will not be unhappy to me to know both of my coins are Class 2 CC (though I have still room for hesitation about Coin A be class 2 restrike), but I also want to have some detailed scans of a genuine 1789 Mexico 8R, I will email to you for a request.

Swamperbob, do you think if both of my coins be tested by XRF, the reality of genuine or not or Class 2 restrike be disclosed? How sure be the results of XRF, 50% or 100%? Is there a link to the website of those compary providing this service? Anyway, thanks again for you and jfransch. Henry
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 Posted 02/22/2013  11:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Henry - XRF test results are absolutely reliable for the spot tested as long as the apparatus is properly calibrated. The problem is in making the analysis of what the report says. The test reads the metal to a depth proportionate to metal density. It is a surface reading but a coin that has been cut can be tested at several levels. The results for some metals will be in the 20 ppm range and 200 for others again varying by the element involved. The lighter metals like aluminum are not visible to XRF. Neither are organic materials.

If the test (in actuality a series of point tests) picks up a metal that should not be there it proves a coin is a forgery. But no number of XRF tests can prove a coin is real because a melted original could be re-coined.

The tests run in the $50 per coin and up range at least for now until it catches on. Check with Colonel John (John Lorenzo - his company does this kind of metal testing).

Cheap testers like a junk yard uses can test to a few percent but they miss the trace contaminants which is exactly what you need to test for. The rare earth metals found in recovered silver are typically 0.01% or less.

SG tells you the likely silver content about as accurately as the junk yard tester. But the last 1% of the coin is where the interesting things are.

How accurate is the test you ask? I have had a few dozen tests done by John and prior to that perhaps as many others done by a friend in New England. So I have seen perhaps 50 tests on coins I own. Of the 50 - no more than 5 about 1 in 10 came up with something unexpected based on SG. In 3 of the 5 what came up were contaminants that were MODERN. It resulted in moving at least 25 coins from class 2 to 3.

The value of the test is to prove which are MODERN versus Class 1 or 2 coins. Distinguishing Class 1 and Class 2 is best done by expert opinion based on die style and manufacturing methods.

Based on your own SG and the single overlap - the A coin has to be a Class 2. It can NOT be genuine.

XRF is just one in a series of tests and checks that must be done.
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 Posted 02/24/2013  4:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add D0ubl3Eagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I may have been slightly unclear with what I meant by misaligned but you did answer part of it. Perhaps I should start with what I was not thinking about which is the aligned overlap. I did find a picture that you had posted in this thread that I think would make it easier to explain.

The one that is labeled aligned lap was what I was thinking about when I meant aligned. With misaligned, I thinking along the lines of the one labeled normal lap but did include the instance when the two halves of the edge design not meeting up at the same relative position in that category.
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 Posted 02/24/2013  10:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In the case of a single aligned overlap - the key is to focus on the exact spot where the lap should be and look for any evidence of an aligned lap. That is really what you need to do. The aligned lap in my experience always shows. It is NEVER perfect. If nothing more than a slight change in depth due to the diameter of the coin being reduced at the end of the lap or a scrape or some other evidence. It should be visible.

What I was pointing out was that sometimes an overlap can be difficult to spot because one occurs over the other. In those cases, people often think they are looking at a ONE overlap coin when in fact there are really two - one is just harder to see.

The case of one aligned lap does happen at times but in my experience BOTH ends perfectly aligned with no trace is something I have NEVER seen.

How two aligned overlaps could happen depends on several factors all combining EXACTLY correctly. The exact circumference of the blank and the exact length of the two edge dies must be identical. Also - the two dies would have to be IDENTICAL in length to one another. That rarely happens. There is always a slight amount of play in any punch - so in making a die some creep can occur especially when a punch is applied roughly 16 times consecutively to make one die. If you have any experience with manually setting a punch into steel you will understand. Perfection is difficult 4 times consecutively let alone 16.

Also as a punch is used numerous times it deforms as well. The amount of play this creates can result in a very slight change in the length of EACH die. So that they do not match after a few dozen strikes.

Next are the two dies edge dies made one after another in pairs and are those two dies then installed at the same time? Or do dies get replaced ONE at a time? That last case seems to be what you see really happens.

Then one edge may have been made with a different punch as well. There were several punches made from the matrix block and even the matrix block had at least TWO sections of edge to make dies from.

Finally even if the the two edge dies were PERFECTLY IDENTICAL they would have to be mounted into the mill precisely matched by starting point. This is where I think the most variation is actually introduced. Unless the milling machines were made identically following a pattern the holes in the dies need to install the dies in the machine would be a last minute alteration.

This combination of factors NEVER seems to happen in reality.

I agree if both ends are aligned it would be VERY difficult to spot but I have never seen it happen. It may take a microscope to see but the overlap pair will be there.

That is why I am so positive that a single overlap edge is a forgery. I have been looking closely at edges since at least 1974 when the subject was first related to me when I was training as an authenticator. I spent over twenty years looking before I proposed this as a theory.

So far in the past 15 years there has been no real dispute or contradictory evidence presented. But I am always open to refutation. That is the scientific method.
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 Posted 02/25/2013  10:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add D0ubl3Eagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you so much for your help.
Edited by D0ubl3Eagle
02/25/2013 11:00 pm
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 Posted 03/01/2013  6:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add realeswatcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bob, don't have time to read through this post carefully right now... The one thing I'll say - I've seen the "fake of some sort" 1787, 1788 with these goofy, misshapen castle windows come from the same sources/groupings as the infamous "1776-FF" with the identifying missing chunk out of the inner part of the denticles of the reverse near 12:00 (same reverse used with other observes - 1777, etc.). Everything I have read about those pieces points at modern Chinese origin for that 1776FF... if those goofy-window pieces are coming through the same channels, it stands to reason that they are also modern Chinese.

Or, could it be plausible that one/several of the reverses they happened to use as a model for modern fakes just so happened to be one that was a "restrike" in its own right?

No new monitor yet so most of my pics aren't with me... but did you see this grouping on eBay several days back? Note the 1788... and clearly a few others are obvious... yet slightly different styles and obviously divergent dates.

EDIT before I post... I see that the 1789 goofy-windows posted and the 1788 goofy-windows in my pic are actually (2) different dies... interesting...

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