I agree with everyone basically. And I certainly hope the consensus is correct that it is as old as I now believe. My fears regarding the age of this coin arose from my microscopic exam of the coin in particular of the most obvious spots in the fields. Several of them (3) are not actually breaks in the silver plate but rather are surface deposits of an apparently ferrous material which has rusted and stained the surface. Penetrations that cut into the coin (far smaller than the spots that are most visible in the photos) show copper corrosion. One delamination also bleeds out a "green deposit".
The strike looks like some sort of multiple image very similar to the appearance of many of the Low Countries trade coins (Dog Dollars) which I have seen over the years. That was a great comfort and supports my current belief that it is very old. It seems improbable that modern forgers would re-create the necessary apparatus to replicate that strike. Also the dies appear to be hand engraved complete with die sinking errors and corrections - very typical of the 1500-1600s before the screw press was used.
So as of now I conclude that a "Numismatic Forgery" is ruled out. Being in a plastic coffin many of my preferred tests can not be done. However, it was finding that NGC
actually encapsulates coins they know to be old counterfeits is very interesting. I believed only ICG had slabs for counterfeit types.
The use of "contemporary" as an indicator of a "contemporaneously issued counterfeit"
is normal for collectors like myself but this interpretation is found only within certain numismatic circles. To many collectors who do not appreciate counterfeits at all terms for all fakes are interchangeable. To the average man on the street, contemporary usually means modern. So confusion reigns.
I really dislike the eBay auctions which describe clearly modern Numismatic Forgeries as "Contemporary Counterfeits". I write to the sellers if they are in the US but I am usually ignored. Most of the eBay locations guilty of this practice are from China and Spain.
The choice by NGC
of Imitation is a poor word choice in my opinion. It is poor because it is not precise. If anything the man on the street might think "copy" when they hear the word imitation. This is confusing because within the hobby COPY refers to modern fabrications (which Charles Larson refers to as "Numismatic Forgeries.")
Because there is a serious difference between "Contemporary Counterfeits" and "Numismatic Forgeries" in the eyes of the ANA
, Charles Larson and others, I believe it is about time that standards were adopted and adhered to by all people who consider themselves serious hobbyists.
I will need to do more research myself because I am not familiar with the relative age of the two types of dies used. If they are basically contemporaneous, it would be more believable than if the two coins were decades or centuries apart in time.
I will let you know what I discover. tdziemia
Congratulations on entering the fold.