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Calling all 8 Reales coin collectors  
 

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Valued Member
United Kingdom
211 Posts
 Posted 04/17/2017  2:24 pm Show Profile   Check TobyJ's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add TobyJ to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Just recently I bought my first 8 Reales, a 1791 Lima Mint. I've been wanting to start a collection for a while now, and this one came up for auction so I had a go and I won it. (The post about it is on this forum.)

I have just a few questions with regards to collecting. I think I'm going to try working my way up the dates, and try to get a good date run, which I admit may take a very long time. How does everyone collect their 8 Reales. In date run sequence, or just specific mints? Specific Monarchs? Also a question about TPG: After I have bought a few more coins, I'm going to send them to be slabbed as I think it is better to have the authenticity behind them, and to have them in neat slabs. Does everyone else get theirs slabbed, or do they prefer to keep them raw?

I realise that there are an absolute tremendous amount of fakes out there, and there is still considerable value in them. I'm going to try and only buy from reputable dealers etc, but its nice to know that if one time I do buy a fake, then it may have a history and value of its own. (I have been reading a lot of posts lately, and a lot of Swamperbob's too.) Its interesting to know about the minuscule gold content, and it would be perfect if I knew someone with a state-of-the-art XRF gun. But for now, I'm armed with a good eye and some good starter knowledge, a set of scales and a magnet!

I'd love to know how everyone got into collecting 8 Reales, or any other types of Reales for that matter, and any other stories about them that you wouldn't mind sharing.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln
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 Posted 04/17/2017  8:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Debrajc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Toby!!

Unfortunately I can't share much because as like you....I only have 1 of them.
Hopefully someone else will chime in soon.
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United States
54 Posts
 Posted 04/17/2017  10:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add RockyRoad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well...I think I would have to make the assumption that some traumatic brain injury occurred in my youth that impaired my reasoning powers in some way and only manifested recently. IMO no one in their right mind would start a year set of 8 reales after learning just a few facts from swamperbob (amazing guru that he is). Unless one has tendencies toward masochism, it is not a coin set suited for the sane.

But seriously, I became interested in collecting Spanish colonial coinage as a way to reach back into colonial U.S. history. Early U.S. mint coinage even in poor grades are quite pricey. The price point of Spanish colonial pieces is considerably less. This is a way to collect early U.S. Federal Period and mid to late colonial coins that circulated in the colonies, the newly minted United States and areas of North America that would soon become part of the United States.

Somewhere around the halfway point of my year set I stumbled onto CCF. After reading many threads and Bob Gurney's book, I was, to put it mildly, disillusioned. Everything in my collection was suspect, (maybe still is) and I felt that I had perhaps made one of the biggest blunders a collector could make. I almost quit the collection at that point.

So I said to myself: If others can learn about these coins, then perhaps with CCF and my cell phone camera I could learn too.

There's a lot to learn. It'll take the rest of your life. But although I still agonize over every purchase and make mistakes from time to time, I still get a feeling of wonder every time I get to hold a piece of history in my hand.

Regarding TPGs: IMO it just removes the coin one step further from the collector. A coin cannot be examined or tested once encased in a "coin coffin". With Spanish colonial coins it is extremely important to be able to see the entire edge of the coin to judge it's authenticity. The coin needs to be weighed, specific gravity tested and in many cases XRF tested to determine its origin. Even if you have determined that the coin is authentic, once encased, the next custodian of history (the next owner) probably won't know if you did due diligence on the coin. Add to that the fact that we are learning more each passing year about these coins and you have IMO a very valid reason for keeping the coin in an inexpensive 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 holder.

So welcome to the insane world of 8 reales. Good luck hunting to you.
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United Kingdom
211 Posts
 Posted 04/18/2017  3:33 pm  Show Profile   Check TobyJ's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TobyJ to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Debrajc, which coin do you have in particular?

Thanks for the reply RockyRoad. You've completely changed my mind about putting these coins in "coin coffins". I've been reading a bit more too, and it seems that even graded coins, especially if done years ago, could be suspect. I'll be buying raw I think, every so often, as 8 Reales in good grades are quite expensive it seems. When I do, I'll post them on here with the best photos that I can and see what the community thinks.
I'm not sure how to go on, whether to collect a certain King, or mint, but I'll figure it out as I go.
I've never tested a coin's specific gravity, how does one go about doing this efficiently?
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln
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 Posted 04/18/2017  9:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jgenn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My collection of 8 reales includes a date run from 1791 to 1759, all Mexico City issues that encompasses the reign of Charles III (1760-1789). However, I wouldn't recommend collecting 8 reales this way. Had I known better, I would have bought a few, better quality pieces from different mints and time periods. Eventually, I'll pare my collection down to just these.

TPGs won't spend the necessary time to do much beyond the basics in terms of authentication. Unless you plan to collect AU and better quality, problem-free, raw 8 reales, it's not worth the cost to get them slabbed. That being said, I have most of mine slabbed. I like to display them in NGC's registry.

Buying from only reputable dealers is a good idea but make sure you can return them. If you've absorbed a fraction of swamperbob's knowledge from reading his posts here, you are already ahead of most dealers in authentication. And don't forget to buy his book.
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 Posted 04/19/2017  07:37 am  Show Profile   Check colonialjohn's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add colonialjohn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would say buy the Gurney book and buy from reputable dealers of Spain or Spanish/American coins. Firms like Sedwick, Heritage, Aureo & Calico, Jesus Vico and Cayon are all good choices IMO. After awhile you may wish to purchase some period counterfeits. One thing I learned is that this realm of Spanish/American coins is in the beginning of counterfeit coins. This is slowly changing but it takes years like Machins Mills entering the U.S. Red Book (i.e., took 2-3 decades). A collector owning a few counterfeits make him stronger and wiser in terms of what is good or bad so he is then able to buy pieces at reasonable prices away from these big firms and their 17.5% auction rates. Buy the book, buy secure in the beginning and then EXPLORE with always some risk ...

JPL
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Canada
738 Posts
 Posted 04/20/2017  1:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TwoKopeiki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome to the awesome and rewarding world of 8 Reales collecting! Buy the books, learn the diagnostics, visit coin shows and join forums (here, PCGS, NGC (not a very active forum)) and chat with dealers and fellow collectors.

I really like these and have decided to work on a date/assayer/variety run from Mexico City Mint. Specifically around Carlos IIII (1791) to Ferdinand VII (1821). Registry could be a good guide, as it would force you to get better at authenticating or you would be wasting money submitting them to TPGs.

Figure out what you like - is it the certain look and feel of the set? the grade? particular design?

Lots of options.

Here's what I've been working on for the last decade or so:

Carlos IIII:
https://www.PCGS.com/SetRegistry/me...imeset/98849

Ferdinand VII Armored Bust:
https://www.PCGS.com/SetRegistry/me...imeset/98851

Ferdinand VII Draped Bust:
https://www.PCGS.com/SetRegistry/me...imeset/98850

Feel free to drop me a note here or at PCGS if you want to chat more.

Edited by TwoKopeiki
04/20/2017 1:18 pm
Valued Member
United Kingdom
211 Posts
 Posted 04/20/2017  4:09 pm  Show Profile   Check TobyJ's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TobyJ to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the replies! I've just ordered Bob's book on Counterfeit Portrait Eight Reales and I can't wait to read and study.

TwoKopeiki,

Those coins in those registry sets are beautiful, some of the high grades are astounding. To have lasted so long and remained so fine. Just looking at your date run of Charles IV and I'm loving it.

Silly question perhaps but I've not come across this registry before on PCGS. Have all these Reales of yours been slabbed, and you can create a registry of it online like you have? I'm assuming so, as they have PCGS numbers? That 1803 MS63 is absolutely beautiful, how on earth did you find that?


Quote:
Registry could be a good guide, as it would force you to get better at authenticating or you would be wasting money submitting them to TPGs.


Sorry but I'm unsure what you mean, do you mean I should buy them already certified by TPG, or look at pre-existing registry sets such as yours to learn what is authentic?

You're really making me want to do a date run eventually...but to get really great grades...that's the challenge.
I like the one I bought because of the British counterstamp and its history, and it would be great to have a British counterstamp set of Eight Reales, they seem quite hard to find, making the hunt all the more exciting.

JPL - Thanks for the info, I'll take a look at those firms that you mentioned.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln
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 Posted 04/20/2017  6:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jfransch to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
TobyJ
Parroting TwoKopeiki, welcome to the wonderful world of 8 Reales. I grew up collecting US coins, like every other kid on my street but saw a full date run display of Mexico Mint Pillar Dollars 1732-1771 at a coin show one day when I was 20 and that started me on this crazy collecting path. Now 42 years later I am still addicted and have loved every minute of the journey. If you want to collect a date set, I say go for it. If you want a type set of monarchs or assayers or mints of styles or whatever strikes your fancy, go for it. But do buy the Gurney Book, do talk to other collectors, do look at every 8 reales coin you come across. Learn how to spot "problem" coins so you can avoid them. Buy from reputable dealers as Colonial John pointed out. I would even go so far as to suggest only buy coins in hand, not over the internet until your confidence level is strong. Join USMexNA and start getting their quarterly journal. If you can make it to one of their October conventions, go. The educational seminars warrant the cost. In my 40+ years of collecting 8's I have been burned by fakes, bought bad coins I should have passed on and endured some disappointments, but I have also acquired some beautiful coins, met some amazing people, developed some old and "beginning" friendships with fellow collectors and assembled a collection that brings me great joy. Best of all, the collection is what I like. Plan out your collection to do that for you whatever/however you choose. Most all of my coins were acquired raw but in the last few years, encouraged by TwoKopeiki and a few others I have sent in certain segments of my collection to be slabbed and have started buying some coins already in TPG slabs. I have three registry sets under the name "RFS Industries", I started them as a way to share some of my coins with fellow collectors.

https://coins.www.collectors-societ...SetID=195898

https://www.PCGS.com/setregistry/alltimeset/122362

https://www.PCGS.com/SetRegistry/me...meset/118162
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
-Mark Twain
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738 Posts
 Posted 04/21/2017  08:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TwoKopeiki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

Those coins in those registry sets are beautiful, some of the high grades are astounding. To have lasted so long and remained so fine. Just looking at your date run of Charles IV and I'm loving it.


Thanks, Toby. You should check out jfransch's sets posted - he's one of my inspirations :)


Quote:
Silly question perhaps but I've not come across this registry before on PCGS. Have all these Reales of yours been slabbed, and you can create a registry of it online like you have? I'm assuming so, as they have PCGS numbers? That 1803 MS63 is absolutely beautiful, how on earth did you find that?


All of the ones in the set are slabbed by PCGS. I can get distracted easily and early on realized that if I wanted to have a nice set, I needed to focus. Registry gave me that focus. Back in 2005 NGC or PCGS didn't have a robust set of Mexico Mint registries, so I worked with them to create the basic sets. I still get distracted, but not as often ;)

In terms of where to get coins like the ones in my set - develop your network of dealers and collectors. Once folks know what you collect, they can give you heads-up if something that fits your collection comes-up for sale. I don't overly rely on others, though, and have a robust set of websites and search alerts that helps me be on top of things when something new comes-up. If you want to build a world-class set, however, you have to make sure you are on specialized dealer's lists when new coins or collections come up for sale.


Quote:
Sorry but I'm unsure what you mean, do you mean I should buy them already certified by TPG, or look at pre-existing registry sets such as yours to learn what is authentic?


All I meant is that this area is highly counterfeited and until you can learn to distinguish all the different red flags, buying graded coins can give you a level of comfort. With time, as you handle more and more raw examples, you'll be able to actually tell if the weight is off by a few grams just by picking it up.

Good luck! And make sure you share your journey with the members here. It's nice to live vicariously through posts and photos!! :)
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 Posted 04/21/2017  11:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jgenn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@jfransch, how does your grading experience with NGC compare to PCGS? And which one will get your Charles III business?

@TwoKopeiki, great advice!
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 Posted 04/22/2017  3:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jfransch to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Jgenn
I received mixed advice on which TPG to use when I decided to slab some of the coins, so I sent the Ferds to PCGS and the Carlos IIII to NGC. I have not been 100% happy with either but learning how they work and how they see things has helped. I have all the remaining Carlos IIII coins for the set except a couple over-dates/over-assayers but have been putting off sending them in because I have been too busy at work.
My Carlos III if I decide to slab will go to NGC. I find them a bit more realistic in terms of strike issues vs wear issues and a bit more consistent in terms of "I send in an MS coin, I get an MS grade". I have several Ferdinand in the PCGS sets that by my eye have no wear, just soft strikes which are very common in that series but came back AU 55 or 58.
Your Carlos III set is awesome,(what? no 78 FM?..LOL) how long have you been collecting those? Does your pillar run only include Carlos III and only Mo mint? Do you belong to USMexNA and do you attend the October show? I would enjoy meeting and putting a face to the jgenn moniker.
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
-Mark Twain
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 Posted 04/22/2017  5:12 pm  Show Profile   Check Collects82's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Collects82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I am up to six 8 Reales. I collect coins dated to the '82s, and my 1782 Carolus III are some of my favorite in my collection that spans coins of many countries, types, and centuries.

I have three chopmarked Mexicos, El Cazador coins from Peru and Mexico, and a Boliva repunched date. Eventually I want all of the mints for the year, but Chile and Guatemala likely won't be happening anytime soon due to infrequent listings and lack of that kind of money.

I also have an 1882 with pretty toning, but not sure if the Cap & Rays are the focus of your post.

6/8 are in slabs. Two of the chop marked are well worn and not worth it.
My hoard of '82s is up to 111! 282 x 1, 782 x 2, 982 x 1, 1182 x 6, 1282 x 2, 1382 x 1, 1482 x 2, 1582 x 9, 1682 x 10, 1782 x 26, 1882 x 33, 1982 x 18
Edited by Collects82
04/22/2017 7:16 pm
Valued Member
United Kingdom
211 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2017  12:18 pm  Show Profile   Check TobyJ's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TobyJ to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for all the replies.

So much information to absorb. My copy of Counterfeit Portrait Eight-Reales just arrived, so I'll be reading and absorbing it all.

I'm visiting Spain in a few weeks, and I've already scouted out a few Numismatic shops that sell Spanish Colonial coinage. My girlfriend is fluent in Spanish, which makes it a lot easier for me. I hope to find some good-looking Reales and I'll be sure to post them up.

Collects82: I'll look out for those 1782 Chile and Guatemala! You never know, I may just find one in Spain.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln
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 Posted 04/23/2017  5:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jfransch to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
TobyJ
There is an outdoor coin show every Sunday in the Plaza Mayor in the center of Madrid. But be aware, I saw 2-3 fakes for every legitimate Colonial 8 Reales when I was there. Also the show was heavy on Euro coins and light on Colonial coins. Madrid is fun, try and go to the palace there and check out the collection of armor and weapons. It is fantastic.
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
-Mark Twain
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 Posted 04/23/2017  8:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jgenn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
jfransch, I built my collection over the last seven years. I started with an El Cazador piece, and, like the OP, got it into my head that I could collect 8 reales by year. I just have a type collection of 8 reales from other mints and monarchs.

I've been meaning to join the US-Mexican Numismatic Association and I hope to attend the annual convention one day. I would enjoy meeting you and will let you know if I'll be there in October.
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