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Lot Of 6 - 8 Reales - Fake?

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Valued Member
Australia
316 Posts
 Posted 04/12/2014  10:22 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add OneDollarMule to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi Everyone,

I've purchased this lot of 8 Reales. Initially I wasn't suspicious of the coins, however following the revelation that the 1871 Peso I purchased at the same time is fake, I have my doubts!

If people could help my sort out which are real/fake that would be fantastic. I've searched to find easy comparisons to determine the fake coins and I have my doubts about coin 6 in particular.

Any help would be great!

Thanks

Coin 1:







Coin 2:








Coin 3:










Coin 4:









Coin 5:









Coin 6:






Pillar of the Community
Hong Kong
1219 Posts
 Posted 04/12/2014  11:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wonghinghi to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't see anything wrong with your coins. Started from ABC, would your coins have a correct weight? All such 8R should have a weight close to 27.0 grams. For the eagles dollars, they look very nice. For the portrait dollars, both 1805 and 1807 are common years, they look ok but what the importance to figure out is they are contemporary counterfeit or original. There are numerous threads talking about this topic. Henry
Valued Member
Australia
316 Posts
 Posted 04/12/2014  11:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add OneDollarMule to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for your reply wonghinghi, I didn't initially see any issues with these coins, however, the coin was purchased with another which has been shown to be a fake. My knowledge of these coins is not that vast, the coin was purchased from a reputable sale. I've weighed all the coins and they range between 26.92-27.02g. The emphasis on finding out whether these coins are real or not I believe is a fantastic, it's the best way to counter modern (and even old) fakes.
Pillar of the Community
United States
4144 Posts
 Posted 04/13/2014  09:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I also don't see anything that sets off any alarms. The 1884 Zs especially looks to be a primo example.
Colligo ergo sum
Pillar of the Community
United States
5011 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2014  03:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice lot.

The 1884 Zs JS is a contemporary counterfeit perhaps the highest grade of the type I have ever seen. I have one that I have not photographed which by notation I graded as EF. This is quite likely better. In 1884 Zacatecas had started using standardized designs and this die pair is simply wrong. The edge design is also a poor copy. If you ever want to sell this one let me know.

The 1805 Mo TH is in my opinion likely to be a Class 2 contemporary silver counterfeit (un-authorized restrike) of the type made in the US for the China market. The edge design is quite bad and the face designs rather typical. These are forgeries that are potentially as old as 1830 but likely to date after 1870 - an XRF test could confirm generally where it falls on the date line.

The 1807 Mo TH is much better looking and possibly genuine. There are two issues - first the 0 in the date. What does the opening in the top of the 0 look like? There are several shape varieties but I only consider 1 font to be correct. Specifically where is the inward return and what shape is it? The second issue is the edge - toward the bottom of the picture there are diagonal cut lines which could be indicative of a Class 2 restrike.

The 1874 Mo BH looks fine no issues on being real. You should check to see if the coin is the over assayer variety BH/MH. The traces will be outside at the upper left of the B and can be tough to see as the die wore out.

The 1896 Go RS looks real and I believe when I blow up the pictures I see traces of the recut die from either Alamos 1896/1 Go/AS RS/ML - or possibly the Go/Ga overcut die. There are several different dies involved and the traces run from really very clear to hardly visible at all. No one has a handle on how many die there were at this time. The very clear variety of the Go/As variety is more common than the Go/Ga variety so you need to look at this one at 30x. I also note that the edge shows a jam in the edging mill. At this time a steam edger mill was in use that did several blanks at one tie. Jams resulted in lengthy overcuts on the edge 2x and 3 x are known. After 3X the edge looks like hamburger. This coin has a pretty clear doubled edge.

The final coin 1896 Mo AB also has a multiple edge image. These as die errors are VERY common after the steam edger came into use. Some edgers loaded up to 10 blanks at one time and jams are far more common that a nice clear clean single edge. This is about exactly opposite of what the situation was when the manual mill was used. The coin itself seems fine. There are a nice pair of incomplete chops under the eagle's wing. These are the better type chop but being incomplete the premium will be a wash versus loss due to damage. Too bad they are not complete, but a chop collector especially a beginner might actually pay extra. The rest of the chops are minor and only slightly detrimental in my opinion because they are weakly applied and/or incomplete.

In general not a bad group at all. The two 8Rs even if restrikes will likely hold present value for some time. At present the actual extent of this forgery group is unknown. Estimates of upwards of 50 million have been made but the actual number may never be known. Market situation will likely mitigate any attempt at adjustment in basic price. Dealers will fight because they could potentially loose a lot of money.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon http://ccfgo.com/TheUnrealReales or from me directly if you want it signed.
Pillar of the Community
United States
4144 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2014  09:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Figures the one I liked the best (Coin 1, 1884 Zs) is in play as a counterfeit. I noticed the lack of "dragon's teeth" on it, but discounted that characteristic because the info I have states that Zacatecas was one of the last of the branch mints to start using the standardised dies (in 1887, supposedly).
Colligo ergo sum
Valued Member
Australia
316 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2014  7:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add OneDollarMule to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks very much swamperbob! Thats a amazing summary of the coins. I'll have time over the never few days to use a high powered microscope to inspect the coins carefully and report back the verieties you've mentioned.
Pillar of the Community
United States
5011 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2014  8:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


Sorry for any confusion I introduced with a slightly errant statement. I should have said the pre-standard - standardized dies.

In 1882 the Zacatecas die shop attempted to make their own standardized dies in reaction to the growing pressure from the Mexico City die shop wanting to do all of the die making work. I guess even back then efforts at work consolidation to save costs were a serious labor issue. The Zs die shop did a good job maintaining their own standard in the interval from 1882 to 1886 but ultimately they like all of the other branch mints were forced to use the Mexico City produced dies.

The key to the dies of Zacatecas during the 1882-1886 interval were that they were made from hubs that were actually copies of the Mexico City prevailing standard. The Zacatecas die shop was able to employ hubs because of the introduction of new steam presses in 1881. In addition to the ability to press good working dies from hubs the addition of steam power resulted in an improvement in the quality of coins produced after 1881.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon http://ccfgo.com/TheUnrealReales or from me directly if you want it signed.
Pillar of the Community
United States
5011 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2014  8:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Lucky Cuss - Perhaps being drawn most to the counterfeit coin means somewhere down deep you are a "closet" counterfeit collector.

My advice is to let the darkness come forth!

My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon http://ccfgo.com/TheUnrealReales or from me directly if you want it signed.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1656 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2014  8:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Numismat to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Swamperbob, can you please elaborate on what is wrong about the design on the 1884 coin? I compared to several examples on-line, including NGC/PCGS pieces and even the fine details match on all of them. Unless they are all counterfeits, which wouldn't be likely.
Pillar of the Community
United States
5011 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2014  11:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Numismat The way I review a Cap and Ray 8R may be different than most folks, but here is how I came to the conclusion that the coin was a counterfeit. I believe that it likely matches an example I already own which has a low Specific Gravity a bad edge and is extremely close to the genuine die design. It is a surprising coin. This is why I asked about SG. That is usually the basis of the actual proof.

I always start with the edge. I look for a well executed edge like you see on a steam powered multiple edger. This coin has a badly chipped edge. The pattern is poorly defined and not very deep. There is little indication of multiple passes present. In this respect, the coin does not appear to be genuine and if it were mine I would do Specific Gravity to confirm the forgery.

The second thing I look at is the eagle. I believe I have mentioned before that I look at the eagle as I would at a human face. I have spend over 54 years looking at these eagles. In many respects they are my oldest friends. I have no living school friends that I go back this far with. That may sound nuts but I form a quick impression and usually that is it. This initial impression of the appearance is all I usually do. It either looks correct or not. This one did not.

At this point you are asking - But why? To do this I needed to do a much closer review. When looking at the coin in detail I also follow a pattern. I start with the bird's head. I looked at several authenticated and graded examples from the Heritage site to establish the base line for the content of the hub and to estimate which specific traits still vary die to die (finishing touches like the cactus spines are even different on hubbed dies). So I started here with a three coin comparison of the eagle's head. Two known real and one now suspect based on the edge.





The two coins on the right are two examples of the standardized die hub used in 1884. These are exact matches of different dies - proving first of all the existence of a hub. They have different die spines among other minor differences. I noticed first that the head of the snake appears longer and not as round as on the suspect coin that it does on the two standard coins. I tried to mark these limits in white below. I can envision some difference in length based on focus or lighting but the impression remains.

Next I noticed the neck of the snake is shaped differently (one of the standard coins has a ding making it look more bent than it is). Both of the standard necks have a rapid curve and a nearly straight segment joining the snake's head. This is clearly a different shape than the questioned coin which has a longer gradual sweep. I did not mark over the necks.

Next I noticed where the snake's body meets the beak on both sides. The standardized dies use a projection of the snakes body through the beak that creates the appearance of an almost continuous line - there is a small offset based on how you project the segments but in no case is there a severe angle needed in the body of the snake to make the connection. The coin in question has a long offset that is not possible to join without at least one angle point. See the yellow lines below. This gives the bird the appearance of a much longer beak - which when measured is not actually longer but appears longer and gives the bird a different look. The elongated eagles head was something I saw as an anomaly initially.

As noted above eagle's beak is similar in shape and length on all three coins. One of the standard coins has a lump which points to a small die chip. The eye position matches. The effect of the chip makes the curve of the mouth look greater which it is not.

Then I looked at the feathering pattern right behind the crest. The standard coins have clear head feathers directly under the crest but the subject coin does not. See area circled in green below. This may be wear but it makes the bird look different. Also where the head joins the neck - under the chin - the subject coin has a thickening like a lump that gives the bird an entirely different appearance.

Finally the first main row of feathers on the neck of the bird is straight on both the standard coins but is a long curving sweep on the coin in question. See red lines below.

Collectively when viewing just the head area it looks like a different bird and snake.



Next I always look at the positions of the cactus pads which will not vary on a hubbed coin except for the spines which were often added as finishing touches. I do this quite often as a way of categorizing forgeries. Even when the dies varied one by one the relative size and positions of the cactus pads are very informative. Very similar to the leaf size and branching of the oak and laurel branches.

Enough digression into trivia. Here is a comparison of the Cactus plant. I picked only one of the two standard coins for speed. They both matched identically anyway.




To my eye these are simply two different plants even allowing for the spines which always vary. In this case the very tiny pad on the second pad from the left also appears to be a finishing touch added to each die individually. In the picture below I circled two areas of what I view as radical difference.





Next I looked at the area directly above the cactus because it also looked different.




The differences I see are in the layout and shape of the snake and the feathering of the leg which is below and to the right of where the snake passes over the eagle's leg.

Finally I look at the cap to see if the opening and deep fold patterns match. I never liked the cap much but the rays do add a complexity that can be fun when they are not hubbed or made from a copy of a hub. I also checked the rays and some of the tips were slightly different but that could be setting depth or pressure.




I see the folds as being almost entirely missing on the left side of the cap on the subject coin while they are deep and pronounced on ALL the standard coins I saw. The coin being questioned was the only example I saw with a smooth right side.

As noted above, most of my initial observations were based on a rather quick look and the horrible edge might have been overly influential but on close second review,
I know why I believe the two varieties look significantly different.

I would have to go to the bank and try to find the one I already own but as I recall the deviations were similarly subtle and the diagnosis was made almost entirely from the edge and specific gravity alone.

I do stand to be corrected as in any examination based solely on pictures. I know I am not perfect at this but my error rate when buying fakes is wrong about 1 out of every 100 purchases.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon http://ccfgo.com/TheUnrealReales or from me directly if you want it signed.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1656 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2014  01:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Numismat to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you as always for the insightful and clear analysis Bob
Pillar of the Community
United States
4144 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2014  11:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm chastened. Once more, now I realize how much there is I don't know, and I definitely don't have 54 years left to learn.
Colligo ergo sum
Pillar of the Community
United States
3229 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2014  11:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TJsCoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What an awesome thread!
New Member
United States
9 Posts
 Posted 11/01/2016  8:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kenneth Hodges to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
All I can say is 'unbelievable'! That was as thorough and well explained description on coins as I've ever heard! Thanks Swamper Bob! You are a real credit to the community. I was at first excited to be back interested in coins, then I was perplexed by the vastness of the whole counterfeit/fake field in relation to 8 reales. Now I am excited in learning how to avoid the fakes. It is actually very fun learning!
Pillar of the Community
United States
5011 Posts
 Posted 11/02/2016  02:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Kenneth Hodges

Always nice to hear from a new member, in particular one with an interest in counterfeit/forgery detection. Also nice to read the compliments.

I enjoy fielding questions on counterfeits. I am particularly interested in passing on the methods of detection without being alarmist. There are many counterfeits and forgeries in the market place but the vast majority are actually quite poorly made and quite easy to identify with minimal practice. Counterfeits like the first coin in this thread are actually very uncommon.

That said - there may be better more exact forgeries out there - which is why I started exploring scientific methods that are not dependent on decades of experience. Specific Gravity testing and an accurate scale are the first step every collector should use.

XRF testing is a superior tool at times but still is rather costly. It is however state of the art and is used by museum authenticators world wide.

Any questions just ask.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon http://ccfgo.com/TheUnrealReales or from me directly if you want it signed.
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