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1786 Keyhole & Porthole - NGC Certified

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 Posted 11/28/2020  2:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
realeswatcher Thanks for showing some of the non-pristine examples of the same type. The easiest way to check a coin of this type (incorrect alloy) is of course SG. What I have noted is that most counterfeits are easy to detect with this method. Unlike the silver restrikes made for the China trade - these earlier counterfeits relied on a short assay to generate profits.

jgenn Your comment is worth looking at more closely. You say:


Quote:
well within the timeframe of accurate die transfer technology and swamperbob's estimate for the heyday of bullion forging for the China trade.


We know that coins as little as 15% short of silver were capable of returning a profit to counterfeiters who placed the copies into circulation. So some of these short on silver counterfeits could date to the original time of production - including someone doing it in the mint. This is one possibility - these would XRF as containing gold but SG would point to a shortage of silver.

Others made to pass to the Chinese to take advantage of the premium for Carolus coins from Mexico City could have been produced using accurate transfer technologies. These would have the correct alloy and density 10.31 but would be proven bad if XRF showed no gold.

Lastly it is possible (though I have never seen one of this exact type I can prove to be a pure Numismatic Forgery) that these coins could be produced from transfer dies made very recently. These would be proven only if there was no gold present and if certain recent additives were found on XRF - like cadmium added to most sterling silver to retard tarnish in the first decade of the 1900s and rare earth conductors added to silver and gold during the computer age post 1970. In these cases the source of the silver would be high tech recovery of silver in a modern refinery. These refineries often leave behind the more difficult to extract trace elements like those referred to above.

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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 Posted 11/28/2020  4:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add realeswatcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I agree that there are likely hundreds even thousands of high grade examples of the Keyhole porthole coins in holders or that may get into holders. The problem is that NONE of these coins have been scientifically tested to determine their Specific Gravity. Until they are - the fraudulent coins with copper centers and thick Sheffield plate will NEVER be detected and they will be collected as if genuine.


Bob, I posted these worn examples specifically to address this statement. These pieces clearly can NOT be suspected of being early 1800s Sheffield/Birmingham plated types - they are clearly solid alloy. It's simply out of left field to cast that kind of doubt.

AT WORST, they can be suspected of being your later 1800s bullion restrikes for the China trade...

I am trying to locate a wreck piece with this feature (or a piece from the "Haiti Hoard" of mostly 1780s, mostly Mexico portrait 8R which I believe Carlos Jara was involved with and from which eBay seller "southfloridacoinscollectibles" offered a number of pieces a few years back)...

If you recall, you once had similar suspicions about all the Mexico pieces with the cracked castle (crack emanating from the Right side castle window out to the castle wall)... and currently about the Potosi late 1770s-early 1780s 8R with the crack on the left side of the castle. I think these are ALL simply regal flaws... and if you've seen an example or two with similar features that you strongly supspect as some sort of non-regal, it's a feature copied over from a regal piece.

------------------------


Quote:
Lastly it is possible (though I have never seen one of this exact type I can prove to be a pure Numismatic Forgery) that these coins could be produced from transfer dies made very recently.


Check your book's files, Bob... they certainly do. That was part of what prompted the beginning discussions on here regarding this goofy window type maybe 7, 8 years back. Chinese "fake family" types, some of which have appeared in those infamous Postal Commemorative holders. See below:



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 Posted 11/28/2020  9:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
realeswatcher I do not believe I am casting doubt where none is warranted.

I cast doubt on the Keyhole porthole coins because I own several and at least one of each of the types I have described. Some are worn Sheffield plates where the silver has worn away exposing copper. These are scarce because the KH/PH wear off on many coins at the same time. But these are obvious counterfeits likely attributable to Birmingham. So there is noo problem with these since they stick out like sore thumbs.

The thickest "Sheffield" that I own is one of the very first that I discovered of the "key hole porthole" type (KH/PH). In that case the coin is a drilled example where the only visible copper is seen inside the drill hole near the center of the coin. In that one case, the center layer is not much thicker than the face plates and the center layer does not extend to the rim nor is there a covering ribbon applied to the edge. I am not certain it would be referred to as a typical Sheffield plate, but it is a sandwich of silver and copper bonded by heat. Normal Sheffield plate tends to be extremely thin plates (7 thousandths or so having been measured from a few detached pieces of plating). I have seen only one other similar copper sandwich and that was use to make a Guadalajara coin in the Cap and Ray series. I suspect they were most likely created as three cast layers with the copper disk being cast separately and placed on a mold partially filled with silver and then covered with molten silver. This method would not be a mass production technique but it is simpler than Sheffield Plate that requires specialized equipment. The actual composition remains conjecture because in neither case have I cut the coin in half to be positive. I also value these two oddities at far more than the typical counterfeit precisely because of how they were made. (I also collect by metallic composition and these two examples are extremely rare - with only one type being rarer a unique type using thin slivers of silver embossed with the design of a genuine coin over a core of copper - ex: Mike Ringo also in my book). This type is also not a problem since SG discloses it easily.

There are however numerous other examples of the KH/PH that are struck on debased silver planchets that are once again easily detected simply by determining the SG. SG under 10.29 is a fraudulent coin. Fortunately the ones I have discovered all into the 9.6 range. Those are also extremely easy to spot.

The examples found in the Postal Commemorative holders are known to originate in China. They are possibly brand new NF or they were made for China copies from the 1880-1930 period. Of the pictures you post only two coins are clearly modern copies using technologies employed in China now. These are the 1797 at the top and the 1789 at the bottom. They are melt coins worth little more. I believe they are modern NF types based on visual traces alone. I have never tested any of those with a lab level XRF machine to determine if they do or do not contain any of the trace contaminants like the 1910 marker of Cadmium or the 1970 marker consisting of the rare earth metal traces or any of the others I am aware of.

In my opinion, the only iron clad proof of a modern silver fake ultimately becomes a lab level XRF test. It is very possible to artificially treat this class of forgery to remove all the remaining surface clues like the edge arc, the MS edges, the artificial color and the surface blemishes that proves they are forgeries visually. If left with a worn cleaned up example - only a costly lab level XRF ($50 up per test) will suffice.

You also need to recall that ultimately there is no test that proves beyond all doubt that a coin is genuine. All you can do is to use various tests to eliminate different known classes of counterfeit types.

Surprisingly, at least to me, you say:


Quote:
they are clearly solid alloy. It's simply out of left field to cast that kind of doubt.

AT WORST, they can be suspected of being your later 1800s bullion restrikes for the China trade...


I agree completely that some KH/PH coins are clearly a solid alloy - either genuine silver refined and struck in Mexico on the date stipulated on the coin or one that is debased, struck elsewhere and on a different date which does not wear through or provide other visual clues. That is precisely the problem. What surprises me is that it does not seem to bother you to call a silver restrike made for China an original. This is particularly bothersome if it can be easily proven to be bad. Or are you questioning the very existence of the entire class of made for China silver frauds?

I am really suggesting that every 8R should be tested by weight first, SG second and XRF (handheld) for gold third. Not just keyhole porthole types but all Mexico City types. The fourth step of using lab level XRF is more limited due to cost but will reject coins as fakes that otherwise have no convincing clues.

No Mexico City 8R is above some level of suspicion except perhaps members of a hoard known to come directly from a mint shipment; and in that case it must be demonstrated that no coins were added to the original shipment or swapped out.

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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 Posted 11/29/2020  11:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add realeswatcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Firstly, the (4) pieces I posted in my second long post - including those few in what you tell are Postal Commemorative holders - are 100% DEFINITEIVELY, no question, debate, or doubt - MODERN FAKE.

I made the statement "can't accuse those pieces of being plated" SPECIFICALLY in regards to the (5) pieces that I attached originally in my first reply. Those pieces, to my eyes, are all worn to the extent that plating deterioration would be evident - thinning/balding spots, peeling off, bubbling, etc. They are to me SOLID ALLOY coins... are clearly NOT, by their fabric, modern fakes

Those solid alloy pieces prove that the "keyhole" castle window was either a regal, mint made feature... or something that manifested on your later 1800s bullion restrikes. Whatever modern fakes exist with this feature copied it from Regal or Class 2 bullion pieces.

So, then... to dig further:

Quote:
I cast doubt on the Keyhole porthole coins because I own several... Some are worn Sheffield plates where the silver has worn away exposing copper.

Post pics of the specific pieces...

I just went through your photo CDs. No 1785 or 1786 no shown with this castle.

You include (3) 1787 with this castle - you coded them all Class 3 (modern fakes). Two DEFINITELY are... with the obvious Chinese fake traits and matching die flaw(s).

I don't think the 3rd piece IS a modern fake - completely different fabric. I feel it's regal or bullion restrike. Your code 1787-zzcl3-MoFM-004-RG:


For 1788, you show (2) with this castle - again, both coded as Class 3 modern. One definitely is - the other... hmmmm, not sure what to make of this because of the state of the coin. Your code 1788-zzcl3-MoFM-001-RG:


1789 - a single piece, and I assume one of the pieces you're referring to. This, to me, is another "hmmmm" piece. Looks like it has age, though from a distance it sort of looks more like a wash from a distance than a standard English plated type. And, does look to be showing core metal becoming exposed on the high points of the face/pillar... but doesn't look like copper underneath?

Rather rough surfaces as well... just crummy wash/plating - or is the base "coin" a cast?

By the looks/given date of the piece... whether plated or washed, I think this is something dated in or around 1790-1840ish or so... and not much later. In Mexico, they still produced counterfeits (of current Cap & Rays) of this low quality in the later 1800s... but anything American or British produced to go to China in the later 1800s would CERTAINLY not be this poor.


So now, if we have this one low-quality counterfeit with this castle style which appears to be an early 1800s product... to me, that points at least some solid alloy pieces with this castle being REGAL.

Now, perhaps this was a feature that copied on to some bullion restrikes also? Certainly possible... I just don't see it possible where this castle DIDN'T exist on Regal, then it manifested on some early 1800s counterfeit of low quality and then copied from that on to Class 2 bullion restrikes.
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 Posted 11/29/2020  1:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add realeswatcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The castle windows in question, observed on a piece stated by Sedwick to be from the wreck of the Lutine (1799)... along with several other pieces from said provenance in that sale with similar surfaces:

https://www.icollector.com/Mexico-C...9F_i29835833

This is the only confirmed contemporary wreck/hoard piece showing these castles I find in online archives. A lot of the Worthpoint pages for the Haiti Hoard pieces of these dates sold by southfloridacoinscollectibles don't have reverse pics available.

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 Posted 11/30/2020  12:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jgenn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting that the shipwreck piece was from HMS Lutine, sunk in 1799 off West Frisia, Netherlands. So we have a coin that likely circulated in England where the Birmingham counterfeit operation was well established. Given the condition, perhaps it didn't circulate at all.
Edited by jgenn
11/30/2020 12:53 pm
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 Posted 11/30/2020  4:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TwoKopeiki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A few more 1786 finds:

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 Posted 12/02/2020  11:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TwoKopeiki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Coming-up for sale today at Teutoburger Münzauktion:

https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=l...4289&lot=933

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 Posted 12/04/2020  11:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TwoKopeiki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cleaned 1787 AU in NGC plastic - might go cheap.

https://coins.ha.com/itm/mexico/wor...2052-21014.s

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 Posted 12/05/2020  02:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jgenn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Two examples in my collection



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 Posted 12/08/2020  3:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TwoKopeiki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Currently on eBay in an error PCGS holder improperly cataloged as 8 Escudos:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1788-Mo-FM...AOSw1Ylfz7R8

PCGS Cert Page: https://www.PCGS.com/cert/28256749



Here's an interesting feature on the reverse of this one:



Edited by TwoKopeiki
12/08/2020 3:27 pm
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 Posted 12/10/2020  8:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TwoKopeiki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice example of KH/PH in NGC plastic coming up at Stacks:

https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/l...iv-NGC-au-55
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 Posted 12/10/2020  9:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TwoKopeiki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
PCGS certified with BOE octagonal stamp

Did you know Stacks Bowers is having an auction featuring GREAT BRITAIN. Great Britain - Mexico. Dollar, ND (1804). George III. PCGS EF-45 Gold Shield; Countermark: VF Details. as a lot item: https://play.google.com/store/apps/...stacksbowers

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 Posted 12/12/2020  12:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add realeswatcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Roman, good thought about the BOE pieces... as that's the other main "situation" which can confirm a piece's dating (aside from a pedigreed wreck find or a hoard piece where the hoard is reasonably estimated to a contemporary date).

In fact, I've been meaning to post this following piece which surfaced on eBay out of the UK a few weeks back. Blurry obverse pic, but the George III stamp looks kosher from a distance and the gilding/mountmarks are very consistent with English coin jewelry usage.


Another:
Edited by realeswatcher
12/12/2020 1:36 pm
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 Posted 12/14/2020  2:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TwoKopeiki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think there are enough authentic examples of the G3 stamps, both octagonal and oval, which gives us a location and point in time.
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