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1860 Mexican "Cap And Rays" Republican 8 Reales

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New Member
15 Posts
 Posted 12/23/2010  1:14 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Gonzalo de Sandoval to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello everybody!

This is a 8 reales "cap and rays" coin that I´m not sure if it is real or fake.

It seems to be real but it has a "rough" surface that is worrying me; someone told me it could be corrosion but I am not sure about that.

Can you guys tell me if it is fake or real?

It weights 26.5 grams.

Thanks and regards

Valued Member
United States
426 Posts
 Posted 12/23/2010  8:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add RealPeso to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Gonzalo de Sandoval!

First of all,

The weight of your coin is a bit on the light side but I believe it's still within the legitimate range for this coin, I vote that your coin is a real 8 Reales.

Besides the borderline weight everything else check out including the stamp & edge.

As for the rough surface I have seen it before but I don't know too much about what could have caused it, I have two guesses.

My first guess is that at one time this coin might have had a good amount of advanced verdigris or corrosion and I have read that it can basically eat away at the surface if it gets too bad, judging from the cleaned look of the coin I would guess that maybe it was cleaned to remove that corrosion.

My other guess would be that it might have had something to do with the dies when the coin was minted but I don't feel to strongly about this guess.

Hopefully swamperbob will come onboard soon to tell us what he thinks, he is most knowledgeable when it comes to the Mexican 8 Reales.
Edited by RealPeso
12/23/2010 8:30 pm
Pillar of the Community
1304 Posts
 Posted 12/24/2010  10:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add harrison2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yeah, Swamberbob is the man for sure...

If I could give my Two Cents worth, maybe it's just the lighting, but does the relief on that coin look a little high? (most noteably, the wings seem very pronounced)
Pillar of the Community
United States
5035 Posts
 Posted 12/24/2010  2:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Gonzalo de Sandoval Hello and welcome.

I have a few observations based on the pictures.

1. The coin has been cleaned so the surfaces not original.
2. It appears to be a struck coin.
3. The dies used are in an advanced state of deterioration, but there are NO significant stress cracks.
4. There has been some extensive tooling in the fields and around some of the rays. It appears something has been chipped off.
5. The area under the eagle's left wing was flattened out either on the coin or on the die.
6. The edge looks good but there is a VERY long overlap area.
7. The design is correct for 1860 Mexico City 8Rs in all respects.
8. The weight is light but not impossible depending on the metal tooled off and the tolerances in place.

Those are the starting facts.

Here are other facts to consider.

1. Bullion forgeries of this date coin DO EXIST. I own one which a dealer recognized as a forgery and sent to me. It looks similar to yours. My copy is full weight silver and has a doubled edge.
1a. There are far more examples of this coin which are silver plated on copper cores. Your coin does not appear to be plated.
2. Corrosion of a coin after it is struck does not leave raised lumps on the coin's surface which rise ABOVE the die fields. The raised lumps are attributable to die corrosion.
3. The raised lumps at the edge of the coin (which mean a loss of die metal at that point) appear to start INSIDE the dentils. These coins were not produced in a collared press so that type of die failure is at odds with the physics of the die strike. They are NOT normal on originals struck in a screw press. Also most dies used in screw presses fail as a result of die cracking.
4. The orange peel surface is seen very often on newer coins used in high speed collared presses but is not very common on originals. Every time I encounter that type surface I become suspicious that the die material was TOO SOFT to be original and that the coin is bogus as a result.

I always use a preponderance of evidence approach to determine authenticity of a coin. In this case, the decision is not absolutely clear, but the scales are leaning toward the coin being a Bullion Forgery or a Modern Numismatic Forgery. I say this primarily because of # 3 and 4 last above. The real deal breaker for me is #3. Stress does NOT concentrate inside the dentil margin in an open press strike. But it does in molds used in injection casting.

In my opinion this is not one of the "new" coins from China either but it could be a numismatic forgery from the 1970's or 1980's.

The way to tell the difference is with Specific Gravity. If the coin has an SG near 10.3, then it either a real coin made from EXTREMELY EXCEPTIONAL dies or it falls into that class of Bullion forgery which many dealers and collectors simply do not choose to recognize.

If the coin has an incorrect SG - say 9.8 or lower than it is a Numismatic Forgery (9.80 is roughly 60% silver).

I believe that we have discussed the problem of dealers treating all full weight silver copies as real before. When a coin contains the correct amount of silver and it lacks appreciable collector value as a coin - then the coin is TREATED AS REAL by many collectors and dealers. They simply DO NOT differentiate between the two types because in their opinion it is a waste of their time.

These folks are in my opinion not good numismatists - they are profit driven not truth driven. I will often spend many hours examining a troublesome coin before finally classifying it or putting it aside. If I were a "for profit" dealer or even an "investor/collector" looking at profit margins then I would NOT SPEND THE TIME EITHER. But I am not. I study these coins because I love a mystery and I love to try to figure out what has happened to every coin that crosses my desk from the time the metal stock was rolled out until it got to me. That is why counterfeits fascinate me.

In reality, in the case of this particular coin (1860 Mo TH) which has impaired surfaces and is extensively tooled (scratched) the value is really the same either way. It is a common coin available in most grades. It was produced in high numbers. It is worth just a couple dollars more than silver content at most. So when a dealer or investor looks at it he sees a chunk of silver and that is all.

I see a coin that is most likely a forgery.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon or from me directly if you want it signed.
Edited by swamperbob
12/24/2010 2:47 pm
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3691 Posts
 Posted 12/24/2010  6:00 pm  Show Profile   Check Libertad's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add Libertad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just a question: why on the "aguila" side is there so much roughness in the bottom half?
New Member
15 Posts
 Posted 12/24/2010  6:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Gonzalo de Sandoval to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you swamperboy, that was an awesome and really helpful answer!

Thank you very much!
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