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1866 Ca JC 8 Reales PCGS certified XF  

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 Posted 01/10/2018  10:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 20021sc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
PCGS' unprofessional attitude & not being consistent with what would happen should I take the time, energy, and money to send the coin to them for reevaluation was what was upsetting. You do seem to have your own issues that should be addressed IMHO.

A company's guarantee on their services should be clear cut and open for everyone to see. Not a specific group of people that have to pay to see it.
And I STILL don't know what that policy is. I'm sure not taking your word on it.

There is a second expert on this subject of counterfeiting that brought this issue of authenticity to swamperbob's attention also. He has similar doubts about it's authenticity. But - then again - he's just someone that writes a book, right?

Keep on taking up for PCGS. I'm staying with my thoughts on their company and it only gets worse when people like you continue to place them on a pedestal when they treat people (and potential customers) the way they did me. Although I've never submitted coins to them (I have to NGC with good results), I own several PCGS slabbed coins. If I get the time, I'm going through them someday and selling the ones where the coin doesn't appeal to me for whatever reason(s). And if I ever buy another coin in a PCGS holder, it will be scrutinized with the utmost care.

PCGS told me EXACTLY how they would handle the coin should I send it back. They would test it in the holder (WHAT? - how can they do weight tests, look at the edge, Specific Gravity tests in a holder? All these things you say they now send to the "gold shield experts" for there stamp of approval - wow, they must defy science these guys). And if PCGS deemed it counterfeit, they would put a "X" on it and "the holder defaced" and returned to me. No mention of any compensation for their mistake should that be the case.

One other thing about the "gold shield experts"..did you notice the coin in question does indeed have a PCGS gold shield holder?

Only when I said that wouldn't do, did they say "Then you've got to resubmit the coin for encapsulation all over again". Pay to join our organization, abide by our rules that you cannot even see, and we'll go from there, all at your expense.


And there are others that have posted on this thread that agree that it in my best interests to return the coin for a refund.

Please don't mention me in this thread again. I asked for experts' and advice and anyone else's thoughts interested in this coin's authenticity. I was not looking to argue and have someone saying I was "having a meltdown", " out", or "spinning out of control".

Like RealPeso mentions, I'm returning the coin in my best interests.
And I won't be spinning out of control, out, or having a meltdown on my way to the post office either.

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 Posted 01/10/2018  10:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

A company's guarantee on their services should be clear cut and open for everyone to see.

It is, it's on their website which you would have seen if you ever bothered to look or listen and not just start saying whatever you felt. Take my word or don't I don't care, I do know what their policy is and told you several times but you just keep going on and on and on about incorrect information.

At this point I honestly don't care what you think you made up your mind and no one is going to change it which is very likely how you were on the phone with them telling them about what someone said in an internet thread. The only reason I am pointing out how wrong you are about the process is for other people that were curious. I wasn't the only one to tell you what you think about it is wrong as well

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 Posted 01/10/2018  1:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 20021sc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
OK, one more time basebal21
Yes, I'll admit when I was wrong, or even at least in this case partially wrong.

The PCGS website that starts you off:

The link you get when you click the services and fees option:

PCGS' guarantee:

PCGS' "new" gold shield policies:

OK, first off, under PCGS' guarantee section, it is completely their call as to the market or book value of the coin what they would reimburse the owner should they indeed find it counterfeit. Says it right there in plain English. Not what I paid for it, which may or may not be what they value it at. We could be talking several hundreds of dollars difference here on this particular coin) if not a thousand dollars or more).

PCGS' gold shield policies:

Nowhere do they mention their experts weighing the coin, checking the diameter of the coin, checking the edging or engrailing of the coin (first thing that should be done on an eight Reales), specific gravity tests on the coin (again, an absolute must on the 8 Reales series), or even XRF technology analysis.

basebal21 : you are up against experts with decades of research and knowledge on this subject here. And some of these experts have wrote books on the counterfeits which you comment as "anyone can write a book" and "total garbage" is in books. But you also are at odds with many collectors here of this series' opinions which you admitted earlier you do not know much about this series. Neither did I a few months ago. But by reading, trying to comprehend many things that were new to me, and an open mind, I have to agree with the people on this site that have been doing this much longer than my short term in this series.

Based on not knowing what would happen should I submit the coin to PCGS for their and their alone's decision on my investment, I will do what I decide is in my best interests.

And PCGS does have a "gray" area on problems such as this that you do indeed have to pay them and become a member of their's to totally find out, if you even do then. Right there on their web pages in English. It seems it's their ball park and you play by their rules, even if they got it wrong to begin with.
Thank you.

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 Posted 01/10/2018  2:23 pm  Show Profile   Check colonialjohn's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add colonialjohn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Its been common knowledge for awhile that once PCGS, NGC and ANACS LEAVE U.S. Federal coins and venture into U.S. Colonials and specialized Foreign coinage we do see problems. Certain varieties like the NJ Maris Copper 67-v which was cut with deep reverse dies and VG examples being called XF is but one example. The average PCGS U.S. Federal authentication personnel is simply not going to get it right on some of these unusual types. Don't get me wrong I like them since without coin in hand there is SOME comfort in knowing the piece coming to me is not a MODERN forgery or for something like a West Indies countermark piece it helps me to a large degree in being comfortable withe purchase - but we will always argue. TPG's have some value and it helps in the sale-ability of items IMO. There are some firms like Heritage and Sedwick that will not sell CCCs. So firms like Stacks/Bowers always have my 100% support for going out on a limb and that is my strong opinion! They helped greatly with both CCC8R book and Forgotten Coins!

Edited by colonialjohn
01/10/2018 2:26 pm
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 Posted 01/10/2018  7:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add realeswatcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bob, John... thoughts on the effect seen on the Heritage piece from the other night (shown in the comparison pic on the previous page)?

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 Posted 01/11/2018  04:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
realeswatcher The effect as I interpret the pictures is simply not the same. I have examined thousands of plated forgeries in my 60 years of collecting and authentication - there is a difference.

None of us have seen the coin in hand but the enlarged photos appear to show standing silver at the edges of incuse areas of corrosion which I absolutely do not see on any of the Heritage pictures you provided. I used the original Heritage photos or the PCGS or NGC photos as my starting place. Using the small photos this site can handle is inadequate.

basebal21 I understand your explicit trust of PCGS but I simply do not agree. Why - because I know you are incorrect. They have an error rate that is far worse than you speculate. Of course you know nothing of my book or my credentials or the science on which I base my theories. Apparently you have no interest in learning. Lets hear something about you and why we should listen to you at all. Lets see the cases where you have proven a TPG encapsulated coin was a fake. I did not hear any comments about the three encapsulated counterfeit Cap and Ray coins in PCGS holders that I posted. I spotted all of them in pictures PCGS did not spot them in hand. How about the other encapsulated errors in my collection or all the others owned by friends. Get real you are not seeing the forest because of the trees. I do not get the animosity here unless you are shilling for the TGPs. You admit to no level of expertise in this complex series yet you make dogmatic statements about my abilities and motivations. I have none. I just think people must look closely at the coin not the slab. When buying on eBay you never get the in hand experience until you receive your coin and you have limited time to use a guarantee. 20021 sc can not send this coin around for in person inspection. Sending it to PCGS takes too long.

See my other thread on the 1794 Chile coin I first saw in a Stacks Bowers and PONTERIO auction last night for further proof of basic ineptitude of PCGS and at least one of their "go to experts" on Mexican coins. PCGS authenticated as genuine not only one one occasion but on several occasions a patently false contemporary counterfeit as genuine. They also authenticated the counter stamp which does not even vaguely resemble an original. This means they didn't even check to see what a 1794 privy stamp looked like. How simple is that. They didn't check the font used on the 1794 coin from Chile to see if they matched the standard for that mint. So how do you accept all these errors as doing such a great job? How do use that blind reliance on unknown graders (not authenticators) to do better than I do in my chosen area of specialization.

Also I have read the PCGS website and their website I was a member of PCGS for some time as well. But when I read the guarantee I get the same feeling as 20021sc. You are playing a game with someone who holds all the cards. They are NOT responsive. Their terms are protective boilerplate and people using the service are still buying just so much essentially worthless hot air. They have NO SCIENCE behind them. I know graders and have worked closely with them. I know they are doing their best in working conditions that are far from optimal. Split second decisions are made that deserve more time.

In the case of the 1794 coin I knew instantly it was counterfeit. The face is wrong. The fonts are wrong. After years of reviewing these two series I can tell in seconds all of the common counterfeits. They are like close friends.

In the case of this 1866 Ca I see something that looks wrong. It may be genuine but based on my review I am suspicious.

What I am doing is to try to educate collectors about the tell tale signs of forgery that can be seen in photos and then to advise them what to look for in hand. I did that here and the owner indicated that he confirmed my observation about the nature of the surface. You have only offered the advice that he trust PCGS with his $2000 investment. Blind trust. No basis for that. No facts. No ...........

My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon or from me directly if you want it signed.
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 Posted 01/11/2018  6:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add realeswatcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sure looks like an incredibly similar void in the 1 and general crumbling amongst a heavily stressed rim to me. All four "1" digits (BOTH "1" digits on BOTH coins) have that same fissure effect on their base - just like a split-open upper lip! It's not to the same extent on as much of the lettering as on the PCGS piece in question... but the same idea is there.

And keep in mind, the Heritage piece is obviously a crustier, more unmolested piece. There is obviously more organic matter, tone, what not obscuring what is going on in the letter crevices on the HA specimen as compared to the coin in question here.

The PCGS piece:

2018 NYINC Heritage NGC AU55:

Edited by realeswatcher
01/11/2018 6:32 pm
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 Posted 01/13/2018  12:28 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 20021sc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Genuine or not, the PCGS coin is on it's way back to where I received it from.
And I ordered a binocular stereo microscope today.
I'm doing my own authenticating from now on like RealPeso and others do. I like that way better already.

Will update when I receive my refund. That process will hopefully go much smoother than the authenticity factor of that coin.

And it may again appear on the bay. If I see it listed again, I will update this thread. I'll just be watching it next time if it does though, no more bidding on that one for me.
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 Posted 01/13/2018  02:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
20021sc If I see it again, I will bid $200 maximum. That is safe $100 for the slab and $ 100 for the coin.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon or from me directly if you want it signed.
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 Posted 01/16/2018  12:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
basebal21 Since you believe PCGS provides a clear guarantee of authenticity and a method for cost recovery, could you respond to this comment I posted on the other thread where I posted another example of a PCGS error. (1794 So DA counterfeit host with a counterfeit George III oval counter stamp)

The following is edited slightly for clarity here.

basebal21 I agree with some of your comments, in particular to the fact that it is essentially impossible to be an expert in all series. I certainly admit that I am not an expert for all series. But I do claim to be an expert with some series.

I do not expect perfection from any TPG but at the same time the TPG's represent the results of their process as "certain" by offering a guarantee. They do not disclose all of the loopholes in this "guarantee" except in the fine print of the agreement which they know most folks don't read in detail. Even this agreement does not clearly state how they plan to recover costs.

One serious problem with what they are doing is that they could avoid a great number of the errors (in particular those that I have spotted) by following three simple steps.

1. Check the standard references on forgeries or originals to see if the coin looks right.
2. Weigh each coin accurately and compare it to standard weight.
3. Test the density of the coin and compare that to alloy.

If I were them I would add weight and SG to the label because that is valuable information that is not available after the coin is holdered. The tabulation of thousands or millions of such weights would be a valuable future authentication tool that all collectors would benefit from.

Some coins (10% tops) might need more than that for absolute certainty but even XRF needs to become a standard. Avoiding science only continues to produce and protect errors of the past. The TPGs make tons of money when grading US coins and common modern world series because authenticity is less of a concern (due to familiarity), so why not introduce scientific testing for older pre-modern foreign coins? Too costly? Hardly.

Perhaps it would be better for them to grade only when there is some uncertainty of authenticity and to return the bulk of the fees charged for older foreign material that they can not grade or guarantee.

Reliance on their absolute guarantee of authenticity WILL in the end cost many collectors and dealers a lot of money when they or their estate sells their coins. This is because most of the graded coins are safely tucked away as an investment. Many may not be resold for years. They become a time bomb that will continue to damage innocent people for decades.

In cases where I know the buyer of these forgeries (JUNK TYPES not valuable contemporary counterfeits) I have discovered an odd fact. Most of the buyers feel some level of shame at being duped and would prefer to hide these mistakes and eat the costs.

In one specific case where a buyer had spent well over $1,500 on a modern (likely Chinese) forgery, he did not get a refund because the TPG planned to contact the dealer who originally submitted the coin for grading so that they could recover the value from that party. The buyer did not want the TPG to do this because the buyer also had a reputation of his own vto protect. So the buyer ate the cost (or at least $1,500 of it). I bought and still own the coin as an example of a flagrant error.

Does that make sense to you or anyone? If a dealer gets a rare coin, one he has never encountered before what does he do? If he sends it to a TPG that takes a fee and guarantees the coin is genuine why should HE REMAIN ON THE HOOK?

The answer seems to be yes, unless you want to lose access to grading. Why? Because the TPG says so that's why. Not fair. Just a way of protecting the image of the TPG.

Say the coin sells several times in prestigious auctions over a few years due in large part to it being slabbed and then it is finally discovered that it is a fake; should the original dealer be expected to pick up the cost?

This seems to me to constitute a "legal" form of extortion. The buyer has a choice of getting damaged monetarily by eating the TPG's error or, if the buyer happens to be a dealer, they will get damaged monetarily by not being allowed to submit any more coins?

Have you or anyone seen this stated clearly in the "boilerplate"? Do they tell submitters up front that they will be held accountable as long as they remain in business? Do they tell buyers how the money for the refund is secured?

Shame on all TPGs including PCGS that follow this system.

My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon or from me directly if you want it signed.
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 Posted 01/16/2018  10:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 20021sc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
swamperbob : exactly my main concerns...

The PCGS "guarantee" is hidden behind smoke and mirrors. I could tell that day I talked to their Customer Support it was PCGS' call entirely on matters like this. When a company does not give you direct answers and wants to end the discussion, that's not good customer relations.

I may never get the chance again to obtain an 1866 Mexico 8 Reales, but I'd much rather have peace of mind than own a coin I would always suspect was possibly counterfeit with no recourse. Especially such an expensive coin.

basebal21 ?

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 Posted 01/17/2018  03:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cableguy815 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, what a great thread. I found it immensely informative. I could never, with a high degree of confidence, determine the authenticity of the many different 8R series out there. For this reason I have always avoided all 8R. This thread was a magnificent read that takes my confidence level one step higher - I feel like I have to check out your book Bob. If your book contains a fraction of the level of detail your posts above have had then it should be a solid investment and a fountain of knowledge.

I have absolutely no idea if the coin presented by the OP is a forgery or a genuine article and quite frankly, it is of little concern to me as I very rarely buy coins in the grade/state. The detail is just too mushy for my liking. However, Bob's suspicion seem logical and I can see his concern. Returning the coin is definitely the right option, especially given PCGS' response to the OP. Quite frankly I was annoyed and disgusted with the kind of answer the OP received. I haven't much experience with PCGS as I prefer NGC (they seem to be a bit better with world coinage where as PCGS seems to be a bit better with US material) but I have seen several instances of really LOUSY customer service. To be totally honest, the same could be said of NGC though.

@basebal from your many posts in other threads you seem like a knowledgeable and objective individual. I do not understand at all however what happens in your thinking process when posters bring up anything that could potentially cast a negative light on PCGS. I have seen multiple threads where you have most adamantly defended PCGS despite their terrible service/errors. Aside from having a stake in the company or receiving compensation from them, I do not see a reason why you would so vehemently continue to defend them. In this business reputation is everything. I understand that we are all humans and errors do occur but to encapsulate a forgery as an authentic article is the ultimate sin; a sin so embarrassing one should do everything possible to make right. I feel TPGs should pay a premium to market rates for slabs containing forgeries instead of hiding behind legal nonsense. Doing so in my eyes would command respect, and if their error rate is as low as you claim it to be (I have NO idea how you, or anyone other than PCGS could possible know what it is), then it should have a marginal impact to their bottom line. In fact quite the opposite would probably happen, doing so would reinforce their reputation and their guarantee and probably lead to more customers. Seems like good business to me... As a side observer I see clear bias in your attitude and inclination towards PCGS.

@20021sc As I mentioned above, I was pretty disgusted with the response you got from PCGS. But as someone mentioned, that was just a secretarial grunt you were speaking to. I realize you were probably beyond upset to care at that point but was there any possibility to escalate the issue above the imbecile with whom you were speaking with? Could you have asked for a manager or some other more relevant department? It's probably moot at this point as you've correctly made the decision to return the coin but perhaps a second call is worthwhile if for nothing else but "educational reasons"?

@Bob/20021sc what kind of Binocular Stereo Microscope did you purchase? Can you recommend something? I've been looking for something to help me closer examine some of my coins and to be able to take enlarged images of very specific details on my coins as well as the whole coin itself. Would you think something like this is a good investment or do you think this is overkill ( Forgive my ignorance here, I am quite out of my league when it comes to imaging equipment. I've been using a 15x triplet and my phone to do what I've described above which seems silly considering the value of the coins I've acquired (especially in light of the comment you made Bob about spending $100 on a good microscope). Any recommendation/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Nothing better than a fresh World Crown arriving in the mail after a long and tiring day.
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 Posted 01/17/2018  04:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
cableguy815 The scope I use all the time is a simple scope I bought about years ago from AM Scope. It is simple and takes a beating. It is 10x 30x which is perfect for most reviews and is all you really need 99% of the time. The light is very good (can get very hot) and the lenses are very well ground with no distortions. Here is a link to a very similar model.

For high resolution applications you might need 500x to see some alterations and glue seams for attached mint marks on US rarities but in the past 5 years I have never had to take out my old scope. Most of the pre-modern coinage simply does not need it.

I have two different digital optical microscopes like the dino-lite that I used for quick close up applications at one time. (BTW - the link did not work for me). They are fun and once set up they work fairly well. The primary drawback is that they are really monocular and the image lacks depth that you get from a true binocular scope that can be focused for each eye.

Like scales a scope is a tool. There are many options that sound great but can cost a lot compared to the actual use you will get. Make sure you buy what you need. Too much can be as bad as too little.

My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon or from me directly if you want it signed.
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 Posted 01/17/2018  09:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 20021sc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
cableguy815 : I asked the woman at PCGS that day if one of two people that have actually wrote books on these counterfeits contacted PCGS would they be able to communicate directly to a grader or supervisor concerning this coin. As I stated earlier in this thread, it was an abrupt NO in her response.
If I would have asked for a supervisor right then, not sure what would have happened.

Anyway, the coin did arrive back to the seller. Or at least to his PO Box. The seller has yet to respond or return that large sum of money to me. I have to wait at least up to another 6 business days until eBay will do any more. He had it sent to a PO box and eBay doesn't consider it "delivered" until he actually signs for it and takes possession. So another waiting period. I do feel I did the right thing and will eventually receive a refund, even if it's through eBay's buyer protection plan. eBay has been on my side since I started the refund process (I filled them in on all the grisly details and they were surprisingly receptive and interested in this matter, unlike PCGS). It's just the seller is dragging his heels as much as he can. Makes me wonder if he himself sent this coin in and what he might or might not have known about it.

Swamperbob , do you know if you can tell when PCGS encapsulated a coin by their holder number or if they have that info somewhere available to the public? Would be interesting to know and find out when they did this slabbing. The gold shield on their label would indicate sometime recently I would think.

cableguy815 I bought this scope, but it has not arrived yet, so I don't know how I'll like it. It also is an Amscope.

It is a bit more powerful than the scope swamperbob mentions. about $50 more expensive too. And it has LED lighting instead of halogen which makes it not as hot when you're viewing as he mentions. It has real good reviews, I'll post how it works IMHO.

I also could not get your link to load.

And I forgot to mention I think it's a great idea swamperbob has that PCGS (and all TPGs would follow suite I would think) start weighing and doing SG tests and annotating that directly on the holders. This would be a great upgrade to their methods and company, especially if they were to innovate it. With forgeries being more common in numismatics, it would be a vast improvement over what's going on now. It would bring new collectors into these series and help the hobby tremendously I would think. And - as swamperbob mentions - to a company as large as PCGS, it would not take much or either an effort or resources to do these annotations.

Thank you cableguy815, I agree that it is a great thread. I learned a lot as I can see many more experienced collectors than I did also. Especially on this series and TPGs too.

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 Posted 01/17/2018  11:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cableguy815 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you both for your input on the optics. One of the shortcomings for me of the scopes you mentioned is it's inability to interact with a PC and be used for photographic purposes as well. I can definitely appreciate the benefits of a larger field of view and the ability to discern depth. This is why I liked the dinolite (pardon the link error, it had the quote and parenthesis as part of the link which is why the link didn't work - ). It's compactness and simple PC interface are very appealing to me. I was just wondering if it is really as good as what the video demonstrates or if there are some things I am not considering. Anyway, I feel like I'm shifting the direction of this great thread... apologies.

Nothing better than a fresh World Crown arriving in the mail after a long and tiring day.
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