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Counterfeit Or Decorative 3 Vintens Joao (John) Prince Regent?

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 Posted 08/31/2019  1:20 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Iberia to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Good afternoon all.

This "coin" is a mystery to me, so I will post it here to see if anyone has a better idea. I noticed Swamperbob is knowledgeable on counterfeits of the era in question, so maybe it might interest him also.

The item is a replica of a 3 vintens coin of Joao prince regent of Portugal, @ 1800, it has the same diameter. It would be an unusual item to copy for decorative purposes I think. It seems too thin and weak to be a button, is not pierced, has no visible place where a loop might have been connected. It is silvered on copper, the back only has a little silvering left, the front is intact. The back seems not to have ever held a design, even where silvering remains it is smooth. The design on the front has HOC spelled backwards and some letters slightly out of size, but otherwise is a good replica.

Any educated opinion on what the item was, for example if counterfeits were sometimes left blank on one side etc., would be appreciated.

It is not a modern replica, but has at least the age it shows (patina), was found in a field.

Thanking you in advance.

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 Posted 08/31/2019  7:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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 Posted 08/31/2019  8:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Iberia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Dorado, and for the welcome

Numista is the site I usually use to ID coins, I was just not sure if there were any restrictions on including links etc.

I'm not much good on counterfeit or decorative coins, I know some were altered so as to be able to be used as decoration and similar legally, I know others were altered so that the penalty was less for not being exact copies.

Maybe someone has an idea what this kind might have been used for. It just seems an odd piece that doesn't really fit into any obvious category, and the place it was found, being remote, sort of excludes a game piece or similar.

Thanks again.
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 Posted 09/04/2019  1:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Iberia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks jbuck .

I'm going to guess the item is decorative of some kind, I can't really assume that it was meant to be used in circulation, even though it is such a small "coin" and the differences would be unnoticeable (except for no pattern on the back obviously).
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 Posted 09/09/2019  12:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I am basically stumped by your "coin".

I have handled over 20,000 counterfeits, bullion frauds and numismatic forgeries over the past 6 decades and I have never encountered a single sided counterfeit that was purposely made that way.

I have encountered genuine and counterfeit coins that were ground down on one side. I have no idea why that was done.

I also own several electro-deposition half coins (shells) made of copper. This process was not used before 1800.

Buttons were rarely single sided even when no loop was ever attached. Buttons usually have a simple wreath and maker's initials etc on the reverse. Coin style buttons became popular after 1870.

The silver layer could provide clues to age. Pure silver is applied by electroplating so an XRF test could tell if the coin was electroplated. If it was electroplated the coin dates to some point in time after 1840-1850.

If the silver plating is high in mercury it is an amalgam wash a technique that existed well before 1800.
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 Posted 09/10/2019  06:33 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Iberia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for the welcome Bob (I see it listed as a goodbye wave but they are meant as hello waves by me :D ), and for taking the time to answer.

Over time I have built up a fairly good feel for coins and older items, but this one has me stumped also, I just cannot place its "meaning". It is quite frustrating ! At first I was thinking maybe corrosion had flattened any detail on the back, even under the silvering, but no that is too far fetched, then I am thinking the silvering left was on a low flat patch, but that won't do either after checking the design. It is such a small "coin" that the difference in the existing design would go unnoticed without a magnifying glass, except for it being flat on one side. So then I am thinking that maybe it was technically easier for someone to mould it just on one side, but then the detail is so good and the effort of adjusting the original pattern so complex that they would not be challenged by a full mould or strike. So it is an oddity, could be one that did not get finished properly for some reason, but I really tend towards it being set for decoration... except it just doesn't seem that coins were used much in those days for that, and a later replica would not have bothered with changing the pattern with the coin no longer being in circulation. So I'm still not fully decided. The layer of silver seems softer than electroplated, but I don't have experience in this. That is to say that on the blank side I had easily (and unwittingly) put a scratch through it with my nail, it didn't chip, but that might just be because it is oxidised underneath.

Something trivial, or something made trivial to be able to try to mistakenly pass it as authentic is where it rests for now I suppose. At some point I might offer to send it over to you (now is difficult for being on the move) with return postage paid, just out of a common interest as I am sure you appreciate examining and documenting new items. Still would not be sure to be able to answer its origin but then again, half the fun is just seeing how things were made.

Till then I suppose, and thanking you again.
Edited by Iberia
09/10/2019 06:40 am
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