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1831 8 Reales Do Cap & Rays With Unusual Details

 
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Valued Member
United States
426 Posts
 Posted 02/20/2020  10:03 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add RealPeso to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hey everyone,

It's been a while since I've picked up anything interesting but I did get this 8 Reales Durango Cap & Rays recently. The stamp looks like a match with the example in Resplandores but like always this series always throws us some curveballs.

Three things which jumped out at me on this piece.

1) This one came in heavy at 27.7G even teasing 27.8G a couple times on the scale. I know Durango early issues were notorious for not having a standard weight in the 1820's but for 1831 can this still be expected.

2) Reversed edge/rim, it definitely has a reversed edge which caught me by surprise. My closest 8R Durango is an 1827 which does NOT have the reversed edge and I have seen it before on debased originals from Zacatecas. I didn't know Durango issues could have them? Can a legit 8R Do still have the reversed edge or is this a sure sign of contemporary counterfeit?

3) Lastly, I just cannot see a "raised B" anywhere on the eagle's right foot no matter how much I look for it. It's illustrated in "Resplandores", but I wonder if it's worn out because I have been looking at pictures online of other 1831 Do's graded by PCGS and it seems a lot in XF you cannot see it, it just becomes a blob. Does anyone know if all original 1831 8R Durango's have the "raised B" or are there some that do not? If anyone has pictures of their 1830,1831 or 1832 Do "raised B" coins I would love to see them to compare.

Comments or knowledge very much appreciated!






Edited by RealPeso
02/21/2020 3:39 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
4924 Posts
 Posted 02/22/2020  4:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
RealPeso You have made a very interesting find.

The coin does look very similar to the example in Resplandores. Dunigan seems to indicate that all 1831 Do coins have the B since he indicates there are "No major varieties" known for the date.

The weight and the reversed edge design is extremely suspect.

If you refer to Riddell's "Monograph" # 363 you will find an example of an 1831 Do that Riddell efers to as a Counterfeit which is even a closer match to your coin than the Resplandores picture. The assay by Hort indicated that the Riddell coin was underweight at 0.82 (22.1 grams) and used an alloy that was only 683 fine silver.

So have you discovered an example of that illusive Riddell coin or not?

I think you need to get a VERY accurate SG reading to determine if the silver is up to standard. You should also get a laboratory XRF reading to confirm the alloy and SG.

The coin may simply be an extremely shoddy mint made overweight issue (no premium value) or it could be a counterfeit produced with dies possibly made at the mint and would be worth MORE than an original. (At least to a guy like me.)

Counterfeit issues are known to vary greatly in weight and assay so I would definitely check this one out. It may be heavy but if the alloy is near 683 instead of 900 fine it would definitely be fraudulent in value. That combined with the reversed rim would cause me to place it in the identical category as the 1835 Zs reversed rim coins which test as silver deficient.

Personally I have searched for years for the 363 with no luck. So far the examples I have bought are always near 900 fine, near 27 grams and XRF as legitimate even though they resemble the 363.

My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon http://ccfgo.com/TheUnrealReales or from me directly if you want it signed.
Valued Member
United States
426 Posts
 Posted 02/22/2020  9:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add RealPeso to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
swamperbob Thank you very much for taking a look at my coin! Ugggh, I always seem to stumble on the debased 8R's or contemporary counterfeits. I am currently using a backup scale that just measures to the tenth decimal (broke my main one) and the new one is on backorder until March 18th So it's going to be awhile until I can get down to business with a proper SG test.

I studied Ridell #365 Ridell 363 before buying the coin and came to the conclusion that it wasn't a match because Ridell makes the following comment "Snake's neck to near eagle's head" and in the picture you can see that the snake's neck in #363 comes within grazing distance of the eagle's head and on mine there is a larger gap just like the original. Could it still be the #363 though?


Edited by RealPeso
02/22/2020 9:37 pm
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 Posted 02/22/2020  9:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I still see the # 363 (not 365 which uses French style) as a possible match.

If you notice in the Riddell picture the snake's body appears a bit thicker than on your photo, which could account for the perceived difference.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon http://ccfgo.com/TheUnrealReales or from me directly if you want it signed.
Valued Member
United States
426 Posts
 Posted 02/23/2020  11:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add RealPeso to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yep, sorry #363 not #365. I am hoping the SG test will help put some of my doubts to rest. In studying this piece and looking at other 1831 Do's online I realized that there were two different snake heads used that year besides smaller differences like feathering style to the right of the eagle's resting food and placement of the (1) in 1831 and the (o) in Do. It is a very interesting piece and hopefully I'll have some answers as soon as my new scale arrives. Hey swamperbob by the way, any updates on when your book on counterfeit Cap & Rays is going to be published, that's the one I am really excited about.
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1417 Posts
 Posted 02/26/2020  3:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add realeswatcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The piece very much smells regal from a distance, no? It has to at least come from regal dies or punches.

The comparison to the Riddell piece is interesting, and it is "close" from what you showed of the bird head area (I agree, may be some reproduced image distortion there). Can you crop/attach the entire Riddell 363 pic?

The overweight aspect does not bother me, FYI... Durango and really all of the branch mints are all over the place in those years. I don't know specifically about the "B", so I can't comment.

I like these late 1820s-1832 pre-French types. I believe I bought a very scarce 1832 Mex dies a few years back... and I recall paying up for it.
Valued Member
United States
426 Posts
 Posted 02/27/2020  12:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add RealPeso to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Realeswatcher,

That's what I was leaning towards also. I say it has to be from Regal Dies, the stamp is just too spot on for it not to be. I just didn't know the Durango 8R's also had cases of debased originals like the Go and Zs mints.

Here is the image of the Ridell 363 with my coin below.
It could very well be that 363 swamperbob has been looking for. I just got tired of all the cheap scales that kept breaking on me after a couple years so I ordered a nice Brecknell scale which measures to the hundredth that is on backorder until mid March so I have to wait a bit to solve the mystery. (hopefully)



Edited by RealPeso
02/27/2020 12:48 pm
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1417 Posts
 Posted 02/28/2020  12:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add realeswatcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Those are, definitively, NOT the same Rays sides... Look at how the rays point at the legends lettering (e.g., R of the RM assayer).

Bird side? Need to study that some...
EDIT: bird side not identical, either... compare how the tip of the wing at 3 o'clock lines up against the nearby leaves

Very similar fonts, etc., though, on both sides.
Edited by realeswatcher
02/28/2020 12:57 am
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 Posted 02/29/2020  8:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One thing about mint made debased coins is that the bad planchets are not always struck using one die pair. The example seen in Riddell was only 683 fine silver so it is either a mint issued fraud or a counterfeit. Which of the two is still an open question in this particular case.

I believe that all 1831 Do 8Rs (along with other dates known to have fraudulent versions) should be checked for density. Until dozens perhaps hundreds of examples are checked there is no way to know if we are looking for one die pair or many.

It has already been established that there are several different die pairs used to strike the 1835 Zs OM debased coins with the reversed edge design.

I also check every 8R with a reversed edge and in that process I discovered a new fraud not listed in Riddell - an 1828 Ga.
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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