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The mystery of the 2 REALES 1834/5 GJ

    What should be borne in mind is that all the coins with overdates have one thing in common, which is that the overstruck date is normally over a date earlier than that of the overstriking. However this rule has an exception.

     Dale Seppa’s compendium ECUADORIAN COINS– An Annotated checklist – Edition 2016 on page 18 reports the existence of a 2 Reales coin with overstruck date 1834/5 GJ, a coin whose overstriking is unusual in that the overstriking is on a future date compared to the overstriking rather than an earlier date as is normal.

Fig. 7aaa.jpg

    In this compendium DALE SEPPA mentions that the coin is certified by NGC as VF DETAILS with Hairlines, the same as was auctioned by DFS (Daniel Frank Sedwick) in May 2013 at a price in excess of US$800. In the auction DFS mentions that this piece is the only one known up till now, with a value estimated between US1000 and US$2000. The auction can be seen at the link: 

http://auction.sedwickcoins.com/Quito-Ecuador-2-reales-1834-5GJ-unique-overdate-no-dot-after-CONSTITUCION-encapsulated-NGC-VF_i15947128

     Mr. Seppa also mentions in his compendium that he had not the opportunity to find the records and the verification code assigned by NGC, to be able to study this unusual overdate and confirm it, but it is clear that it concerns a 2 reales of 1835 GJ overstruck with a 4. This we can easily confirm because the only difference which exists between the 2 reales coins of 1834 and those of 1835 is the period at the end of the word CONSTITUCION (all the 1834 coins have a period at the end of the said word, whilst the 1835 coins do not have the period).  The overstruck coin from the DFS auction (1834/5) does not have the period, as is indicated in the description from the DFS auction, which clearly confirms that it is a coin  from a die of 1835 overstruck with a 4.

Fig. 5aaa.jpg

 

    The coin from the DFS auction passed through the hands of several Ecuadorian collectors until I acquired it in March 2017, together with the white holder for the Slab and the NGC certification label with which it had been auctioned in 2013, since the coin had been removed from its container. The verification code on this certification was 2782907-001.

     In April 2017 I sent this coin to NGC again, so that it could be reviewed by the certification experts for the second time. The result obtained was exactly the same as the previous certification. 2 reales 1834/5 GJ with the grade VF DETAILS, with the same defect of Hairlines. This new certification has the verification code 2812314-001

   That is to say that four years after the first certification NGC again validated the same overdate of 4 over 5, with the same grade of condition and recording the defect of Hairlines, without being informed that it involved the same piece that had been certified in 2013. This we can easily confirm by comparing both NGC photographic records of 2013 and 2017, where can be seen even the same Hairlines below the letter R on the obverse (2 marks below the R).

Fig. 7bbb.jpg

 

    This causes us to ask the following questions:

  •  How did this improbable overdate happen?
  •  Why was a die of 1835 corrected with a 4?

    First  Mr.  Dale  Seppa  was  contacted  so  that  he  could  review the overstrike,  since  he  had  already  announced  its  existence  and  had  not had  the  opportunity  to  obtain photographs in 2013   for  a  more detailed  examination. He succeeded in confirming that the overdate existed, and that in his opinion it was genuine and an authentic original mintage of the coin. Mr. Michael Anderson also checked this aspect, arriving at the same conclusion about the improbable overdate.

   So, how do we explain what happened?  We can only offer some hypotheses based on the research and conclusions reached by historians about the events of the period 1834 to 1836.

1. –    We    must    take   into   account   that   one   of   the  engravers  who   prepared   dies  in  the  period  of  1834  and 1835   was  Mr. Eduardo Coronel,   who,  according   to   Melvin  Hoyos  in  his   “La Moneda   Ecuatoriana  a  través  de  los  tiempos”,    was   dismissed  as mint  engraver  for  irresponsibility  in  his  duties.   It  is  not   explained what   irresponsible   duties   Mr.  Coronel   committed  to  be  dismissed, but  we  must   wonder   if   this   could   have   been   one   of   the   irresponsible   errors  in  his  duties.

2. –   Melvin  Hoyos  also  mentions  in  his  work  that  Mr.  Eduardo Coronel  was  found  with  a  die  stolen  from  the  mint.   This,  according to  the  unpublished  Numismatic  History  of  Ecuador  of  IZA  Terán Carlos,  occurred  in  March  1836,  and  production  in  this  year  was ordered  to  begin  only  on  14  June,  according  to  what  is  said  in Melvin  Hoyos’  book,  second  edition,  page  110.   All  this  allows  us  to make  the  following  observations:

  • a.-   It  is  impossible  that  the  theft   of   the   die   related   to  one produced   in   1836,    since   the   minting  of  coins  was  ordered  in   June  1836  and   Mr.   Eduardo   Coronel   was   found   with  the   stolen die  in  March  of  that  year.
  • b.-   We  can  infer  that  the  stolen  die  must  have been of  the year 1835 or earlier, which were those which existed before Mr. Coronel was found out,  but it is very probable that he would have taken one of those most readily available at the time,   which would have to be one of 1835,  to be used in his criminal activity in 1835 and/or 1836 until being found out.
  • c.-   According  to  the  unpublished   Numismatic  History  of Ecuador   of     IZA   Terán   Carlos,     it   is   said    that    Mr. Coronel  carried   out   his   forgeries   in   the   same   mint  where  he   was   found  with   a  stolen  die  in  March  1836.
  • d.- In the early days of the Republic, forgers used to steal part of the silver from coins of good fineness, making fraudulent coinages of base fineness, and thus making a profit from the metal they obtained.

    Considering   these   observations,  we  can  develop  certain hypotheses,  such  as  the  possibility  that  the  stolen  die  was  probably of  the  year  1835,   and  the  date  could  have been  altered  by Mr. Coronel  to  that  of  the  previous  year  (1834/5)  with  the  objective of being  able  to  incorporate  his  base  pieces,   produced  in  the  same mint,   very  probably from  1835  to  early  1836,   trying  to  hide  them among   coins   of   a   year   of   which   there   already   existed  a complete   supply   in   circulation;   for  which  it  is  necessary  to remember   that   the   1835   mintage   began   in   March   and   lasted until  December,   so   that  at  the  beginning  not  enough  of  the  1835 coinage  could  have  existed  to  conceal the false  coins.   Another hypothesis  could  be  that  he  did  it  to  avoid  the  quality  controls  of coins   minted  in  1835,    being   dated   as  1834   they   would   be exempt   from   control   if   the   coinage   was   not   part   of  the production   current   at   the   time.     Or   he  could  have  changed   the die  simply  so  as  not  to  have  in  his  possession  a  die  of  a  year currently in  production.    But  any  of  these  hypotheses  would  require that  the  piece  under  consideration  would  be  an  adulterated  coin  of the  time,    coined  in  the  mint  itself,    and  that the  piece  would  have to  contain  little  or  almost  no  silver.     This  would  have  been  detected by  NGC  or  by  any  of  the  persons  who  reviewed  this  coin; furthermore  collectors with  any  experience  could  see  that  the  coin  is of  good  silver.     Alternatively  the  Quito's  mint  could  have  struck  this piece  in  good  silver  after  the  die  was  recovered  from  Mr. Coronel, either  for  the  record  or  simply  by  mistake.

3.-   The  third  hypothesis  is  based  on  a  simple  question:   What relevant  fact  occurred  in  1835  which  could  affect  the  design  of  that tears  coins?

   On 13 August 1835 the second Ecuadorian Constitution was promulgated, abolishing the idea of the confederation with Colombia and changing the name “State of Ecuador in the Republic of Colombia” (abbreviated on the coins as “El Ecuador en Colombia”) to “República del Ecuador”). Therefore it is necessary to ascertain in which months the 1835 2 reales were produced, since if all or part of them were made after 13 August there is reason to think that the date could have been corrected intentionally so that the design did not contradict what had been established by the new Constitution. In such a case it would be easier to correct the date than the name of the country. If this hypothesis were correct, this extremely rare specimen would indicate the intention to avoid the 1835 coinage being inconsistent with what had been approved by the Constitution on 13 August of that year.

    Perhaps having had the intention of correcting the date, they tested the viability of a few specimens and in the end decided not to make the correction, leaving us this example which would become a witness to the political and constitutional changes in the country.

    This  event,   the  change  of  name  to  República  del  Ecuador, coincides  with  the  exact  year  of  the  manufacture  of  this overstruck coin.   Probably  we  shall  never  know  the  real reason  why  and  how it was  done,   but  what  is  certain  is  that  the  piece  has  this  unusual detail,  which  was  verified  by  NGC  on  two  occasions  (in 2013 and 2017).   Furthermore  it was  reviewed  by  persons  with  much  experience of  colonial  and  pre-decimal  coins,    such as Daniel Frank Sedwick, when he offered this piece in his auction house in 2013, describing it as the only one known up to that time, and Messrs. Dale Seppa and Michael Anderson, who had the opportunity to study this improbable overstrike.

    Definitely  it  must  be  a  very  scarce  coin. 

    Xavier Alban Rubio 

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Ecuadorian Trial Coin Dated 1832

Ecuadorian Trial Coin Dated 1832 Many know that when Ecuador's mint began to operate, it was given the task of revaluing or demonetizing base metal coins, most of them denominated in Reales and minted in Popayan, Colombia. It is common knowledge that in Quito the clandestine manufacture of counterfeit coins of base metal or low silver content was widespread in the early days of the republic.  This clandestine manufacture of spurious coins proliferated between 1828 and 1831; this being the reason one of the first tasks of the Quito mint was to identify the coins of 1 real of Popayan that had little or no silver.  Typically their silver content was less than thirty percent and the solution effected was to countermark these low fineness coins with the letters "Mo" (medio = half), to reduce the face value by half. We must consider that the Quito mint also had the job of countermarking the coins from Cundinamarca (modern day Colombia) of correct fineness with the monogram MDQ (Moneda de Quito), which was established by the decree on December 26, 1832 issued by GeneralFlores. That work was begun in early 1833. Likewise, we know that in addition to that tedious work of reviewing the problematic issues of Popayan, they had to acquire and set up the equipment necessary to begin minting of the first coins. The machinery was ready by the middle of 1832, and the first coinage was struck on August 30 of that year (Ref. La Moneda Ecuatoriana a través de los Tiempos de Melvin Hoyos, segunda edición, pág. 79).  So far there is nothing new; everything is perfectly detailed in several works. But what is still not known is the denomination of the trial coins that were made in August of 1832!  In the opinion of some investigators this emission supposedly had been minted with the date of the following year (1833); that is to say, that somehow the operatives, the engraver who made the die, the assayer Guillermo Jameson and the Director of the mint, Colonel Alberto Salazza, divined that the decree ordering the start of operations would not be issued until the following year. All this in spite of the pressure they had to assemble the machinery of the mint as soon as possible, due to the pressing need for circulating coins in the country. This scenario would have us believe that the staff of the mint assumes that President Flores should issue the decree with speed so that those coins came out the same year they were coined, 1832. That is what common sense dictated, although in practice this did not happen, for indeed the decree did not come until the following year (1833), but the staff of the mint had no way of knowing that the authorization would be delayed almost a year. That scenario, in my opinion, had to do the opposite, to suggest to the staff of the mint, that President Flores should issue the decree quickly so that those coins would circulate the same year they were minted, that is 1832, this indicated the logic, although in practice that did not happen, because the decree came out the following year, but the staff of the mint did not know that the issuance of the order would be delayed for so long. On the other hand the book by Eliecer Enriquez, "Quito a través de los siglos", makes reference to a hypothesis that the test coins minted on August 30, 1832 were the 2 reales; and Melvin Hoyos supports this hypothesis in the absence of any report of the starting date for the coinage of the 2 reales of 1833, which one could presume was a trial coinage. This hypothesis is very logical, which is why almost nobody rejects the idea that 2 reales were coined in August 1832; but the fact that there was no report of the start of these coins does not mean that there could not be other reasons. One must remember that the minting of the two reales denomination was irregular with few pieces minted.  The scheduled quantity was never achieved because the coin press suffered damage.  I believe this may have been the reason that no such report was issued. Moreover, Melvin Hoyos mentions in his second edition, in Item #7 on page 102, of his work "La moneda ecuatoriana a través de los Tiempos" that Colonel Salazzá sent a report to the Ministry of Finance, dated September 13, 1833 , informing of the impossibility of repairing the screw of the press, (“el tornillo del Balancín de la máquina de acuñar”) and that until that date the mint had only managed to produce 400 pesos in two reales coins;  that is to say, they only minted 1,600 pieces of 2 reales up to the 13 of September of 1833.  However, in the production report that Colonel Salazzá presented to the Ministry of Finance in 1836, he reported a total production of 5122 pesos in pesetas dated 1833, or in other words, 20,488 pieces of 2 reales.  Then we can easily conclude that 18,888 pesetas had to be minted after 13 September 1833 to complete the production reported by Salazzá, after the repair of the coin press was accomplished.  It is a great mystery that historians must continue to investigate, to discover exactly when and how the pieces of 2 reales of 1833 were coined. Until now it is only been possible to raise some conjectures. In my personal opinion, I can say that when it is necessary to put coins into circulation to satisfy an urgent demand, logic dictates that you begin with the coins that are most needed, which are normally smaller fractional coins, since it is the most requested currency for the majority of transactions.  This was demonstrated when we confirm that the first pieces that were put in circulation were the half real, and in the followed month the 1 real coins. So, if it was known what monetary denomination was going to have the highest initial demand, why would the mint decide to make a trial 2 Reales coin in August of 1832?  This does not seem very logical.   As I indicated above logic dictated that they should have begun trials with the most needed coin, which was the ½ real. Anyway, whatever the denomination of the trial coins, in my opinion, these should have been minted with the date of 1832, because they were made in August of that year, and surely the staff of the Quito mint could not imagine that the authorization would not be made until the following year. This theory was substantiated by a young collector who showed me a ½ real coin from his collection, which was extremely worn, but the 1832 date was clearly visible.  I told him that this piece was extremely rare, that perhaps it could be the link that could define the mystery of the pieces of proof that were minted in August of 1832.  In my opinion there was no doubt about the date that was observed on the coin. However, in order to confirm this observation, we sent the coin to one of the recognized coin certifiers, in this case NGC. Unfortunately this piece could not be certified because of its extremely poor condition. However, the certifier registered this piece dated 1832, and thus was established in registry 2810734-005 as ½ REAL 1832 GJ "NOT SUITABLE FOR CERTIFICATION" It is worth mentioning that when the certifiers cannot confirm the authenticity of a coin, they register it as "QUESTIONABLE AUTHENTICITY" as case 2813928-003; or "ALTERED DATE" if the date was altered, such as case 3719808-007; or "INELIGIBLE TYPE" when they cannot identify with certainty the type of coin, such as case 2795087-006 (coin of 5 sucres 1944 with the countermark for 75 years of the Ecuadorian Central Bank).  But in the particular case of this coin of ½ real, none of those qualifiers was considered; they did not question the authenticity of the coin or that the date was altered, nor if the piece was unidentifiable. In addition to that specimen, I knew of another case from a different third party grading service, ANACS that recorded the existence of another piece of ½ Real  with overdate (1833/2) with number 4732077; that is, a 3 over 2, which was put up for auction by HERITAGE, in January 2013, described as a “MoR” (medio real), unlisted overdate. These two examples make me ponder the possibility that the emission of trials, made in August 1832, could have been the coin of ½ real minted with the date of 1832, and not the 2 reales minted with date 1833 as many historians think. And, as I said earlier it would have been illogical to begin testing with the highest denomination silver coin, and even worse with the date of a year yet to come. If my hypothesis is correct, there should be more pieces of ½ real 1833 with overdate that could be in some collections, unnoticed by their owners, because this error was attributed to the poor quality of the details of a rather than a smaller punch. To confirm this, I made a visual inspection of some pieces of ½ real 1833, in which I was able to observe an important detail in the minting of some of these coins. It was observed that most of the ½ real coins of 1833 have a totally clear date, in which the 4 digits are quite clear, keeping a proportionality and alignment between the digits.  But there are other pieces in which it was observed that the date are not clear, being the rarest thing that in those cases the distortion of the digits of the date appeared only in last or two last numbers, and in a few cases it was visualized larger digits and their location was not aligned with the first 2, they were located in an upward stair position. The ½ real coins that have a warp on the date have a peculiarity, and none of them have a similar problem in the first two digits of the year. This is rare, because this anomaly was always attributed to the poor quality that Orellana gave to the punches of those pieces, but nobody has questioned that this anomaly is only observed in the final digits of the year. That is to say, we must believe that in the various punches that were made for the elaboration of these pieces, they only had a bad finishing engraving only in those digits. Or failing that, the pieces were so small that when they were struck the error occurred exactly in the same position of the coin affecting only those digits. Is that what we should believe what happened with those coins? I resist that belief. It is very unusual that there is only a warp in the last digits and it makes me think about the following question: Why is this warp presented only in the last digits of the date? The only hypothetical answer I find is that this warp is not a product of the quality of the elaboration of the punch, nor of an error in the strike of the pieces when they were made; it makes me think about the possibility that they are corrections made in the dies, most probably engraved in 1832 to start the production that supposedly had to start in the middle of that year, is what the staff of the mint should have assumed, the enormous urgency of demand of coins that the country had, added to the pressure that they had to have the machines installed as soon as possible. But as the decree was not signed until the following year, it is very likely that it would be necessary to correct those dies to be able to use them, obtaining some pieces with this peculiarity. The little test production that was made in August of 1832 must have been a few pieces with the date of the year 1832, which may or may not have been released, but only this piece of ½ real 1832 has been found in the records of the NGC and that it is probably unique. We must remember that when President Flores gave the authorization for the implementation of the Quito Mint, it was necessary to obtain information from the Lima mint in December 1831, because the tense situation that existed between the Government of Ecuador and of New Granada (modern day Colombia) did not allow the support of the mints of Popayán and Bogotá (“La Moneda Ecuatoriana a través de los tiempos”- segunda edición, pag. 74). Remember also that in Lima it was customary to correct the dies to reuse them in the following years, this is observed in the mintings of the House of Lima del Cuartillo (KM # 143.1) of 1830/28, 1831/0, 1834/3, 1836 / 5, 1839/8, 1842/32, 1843/32, 1845/36, as well as the ½ reales (KM # 144.1) of the years 1827/6, 1829/8, 1833/2, 1835/3, 1836 / 5, in the 2 reales (KM # 95) of 1803/2, 1807/0, in the 8 reales of 1803/2, 1815/4 among other copies. Thus we observed that the dies were not only corrected the final digit of the year, otherwise in many cases corrected to the last 2 digits. If they looked for all the information on how things worked in the Lima mint, it makes me think, if it were possible that the custom of correcting the dies was also transmitted to the Quito mint. If this hypothesis is true, it would explain why there are corrected dies in the last 2 last digits, as we observed in some specimens.   The mystery of 2 reales 1833. Melvin Hoyos could be right, stating that the mint started producing the Ecuadorian coinage at the end of December 1832, and that the production should have started with the ½ Real coins with the error of the denomination in fraction made by Juan Orellana as a major engraver. We must also mention that Mr. Juan Orellana was the first major engraver in the Quito mint from 1832 to March 1833 when he was replaced by Eduardo Coronel. Mr. Orellana was in charge of making the first silver issues of ½, 1 and 2 reales. First coins of ½, 1 and 2 reales minted in the mint, attributed to the carver Juan Orellana.  Can see the main characteristics that attribute them to him, such as the rustic work of the pieces, the position of the birds, the overlap of the mountains that form the valley in V, the teeth of the ring that are unmistakable details, among others. In addition, some historians suggest that the piece of 2 reales could also have begun its coinage in 1832, at least the 1,600 pieces that Salazzá confirmed its production in the report of September 13, 1833 to the Ministry of Finance, reporting the impossibility of repairing the screw.  But in my opinion, in no way could those 2 real coins be the trial coins, made in August 1832, because any coins that had been made on that date, should have shown the year in which the test was done, and not the year following. It is not clear if the coins of 2 reales began to be minted in 1832 or early 1833, what I can say with complete certainty is that this denomination, despite the low production, was worked by both engravers, Juan Orellana and Eduardo Coronel, contrary to what many historians think that they attribute the production of the pesetas of 1833 only to Mr. Orellana, because they consider these pieces as the emission of evidence made in August 1832. To verify the aforementioned, we can confirm that there are coins of 2 reales 1833 with the finished characteristic of each of the engravers. This is confirmed by the certified coins NGC 4327326-009 which has all the characteristics that can be attributed to Mr. Juan Orellana, and the registration number NGC 3419565-008 that has the unmistakable characteristics attributable to Mr. Eduardo Coronel. Juan Orellana engraver                                              Eduardo Coronel engraver   We can observe the characteristics that identifies the carver who made the stamp of each piece of 2 Reales 1833 that are shown in the photos above: -     -  We note that for the case of the die engraved by Juan Orellana, the finishes are rustic and of lower quality than the carving of Eduardo Coronel's die. -      -  The position of the birds located on the mountains are totally different between both engravers. This being the most relevant feature to determine which corresponds to each die. We can be seen that in Orellana's die, the birds have a horizontal posture (the head is aligned with its body and tail), while in Coronel's die the birds have upright posture (the head elevated well above its body). -      -  The formation of the valley between the mountains, that for the case of the cut engraved by Orellana, the overlap of the mountains establishes a meeting point (vertex), giving the form to the valley in V; unlike the Coronel die that is formed when the meeting of the mountain on the right makes a sharp curve to be mounted on the skirt of the mountain on the left, forming the valley in U. -      -  The finish of the slopes of the mountains are very different, noticing the fine engraving in the coin from the stamp of Coronel. -      -  The rustic design of the teeth of ring in the coin of Orellana, unlike the very good finish that is in the piece of Coronel. -      -  The finishing of the numbers that make up the year 1833, in which the difference in the shape of the digits is very noticeable, above all we can see how very different the number 8 is between both engravers. -  And finally the detail in the lower part of the cornucopia, which for the case of the Orellana die is thick and very rustic, while in the Coronel die the finishes are fine. All of these characteristics identify the work of each of engraver enshrined in the coins of 2 reales of 1833 despite the few coins of 2 reales minted in this year they were made in different periods and contradicting what we have believed, that all coins of 2 reales were made in 1832 by Juan Orellana. We can observe that all the characteristics of Coronel die of 1833 (the position of the birds, the shape of the number 8 on the date, etc), they are repeated in the coins of 1 and 2 reales in the following 2 years (1834 and 1835) in which he was the chief engraver of the Quito's Mint, leaving an unmistakable record of these details. In addition, from the aforementioned, it allows us to deduce that the coin of 2 reales coined by Juan Orellana, should be much rarer than the 1 real coin of 1833 also engraved by him. I have only known the specimen that appears in the photo of this article, it has not been reported in the works of Melvin Hoyos and Ramiro Reyes, in which only the coin corresponding to the carving of Eduardo Coronel appears in both works, attributing them erroneously to Juan Orellana. We must remember that, of the 20,488 pieces that Salazzá reported in the 1836 report as total production of pesetas, only 1,600 were struck in coins of 2 reales until September 13, 1833 as reported by Salazzá, when he reports the impossibility of getting the screw; which means that the 1,600 pesetas that were produced before September 13 must have been carried out by Mr. Orellana, which is less than 8% of total production.  This last statement is based on the order to produce coins of 1 real that was received by the mint, on February 28, 1833; article 1 mentions: "From this date will be struck in the mint, 1 real coins of the same type as the pesetas (“pesetas” in Ecuador was synonymous with “2 reales”), except that in the place where the numeral 2 is stamped, it will be replaced by the numeral 1 "  – “La Moneda Ecuatoriana a través de los tiempos” second edition of Melvin Hoyos, pag. 103;  which confirms that by the time the order was given to mint the coin of 1 real, in February of 1833, the coins of 2 reales already existed, and for that time, they could only come from the die engraved by Juan Orellana, who was the engraver of the Quito mint. The remaining production of 18,888 pesetas (more than 92% of total production), surely, had to be coined after the date of the report of September 13, 1833; which means that it could only be made by Mr. Eduardo Coronel, who by then was already the engraver of the Quito Mint.   Conclusions As conclusions we can summarize everything mentioned so far in 7 essential points: 1.    The test coins minted in August 1832 would not be 2 real coins as most historians suggest, because it would make little sense to have the mint trials on the least needed coins. 2.    That the trial coinage should have been struck in the year 1832, because the mint had no way of guessing that the decree would not be issued until the following year. 3.    To support both hypotheses, I support the existence of a ½ real coin registered by the NGC dated 1832, the ½ real 1833/2 certified by the ANACS and some pieces that exist with the warp in the last digit of the dates, which makes the presumption that they are the product of dies that were corrected. 4.    Only 1,600 of the 20,488 pieces of 2 reales 1833 could be minted by Juan Orellana (less than 8%), they were the first pesetas.  This is supported by the report of September 13, 1833 by Mr. Salazzá confirming that production up to that date. 5.    The remaining pieces of 2 reales had to be engraved after September 13, 1833, with dies executed by Mr. Eduardo Coronel, because Orellana was no longer the main engraver of the mint. 6.    Both coins of 1 and 2 reales of 1833 engraved by Juan Orellana must be extremely difficult pieces; with the 2 reales much more difficult to find than the pieces of 1 real. 7.  Eduardo Coronel produced more than 92% of the total production of 2 reales 1833, while Juan Orellana in less than 8%; reason why to date had not found a 2 reales coin carved by Orellana. This allowed to attribute to Orellana erroneously the few pieces found of 2 reales, when they really belonged to Coronel.  

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nicecoinsec

01/05/2018

Last Reply:
01/10/2018

 

An Improbable Overdate

The mystery of the 2 REALES 1834/5 GJ     What should be borne in mind is that all the coins with overdates have one thing in common, which is that the overstruck date is normally over a date earlier than that of the overstriking. However this rule has an exception.      Dale Seppa’s compendium ECUADORIAN COINS– An Annotated checklist – Edition 2016 on page 18 reports the existence of a 2 Reales coin with overstruck date 1834/5 GJ, a coin whose overstriking is unusual in that the overstriking is on a future date compared to the overstriking rather than an earlier date as is normal.       In this compendium DALE SEPPA mentions that the coin is certified by NGC as VF DETAILS with Hairlines, the same as was auctioned by DFS (Daniel Frank Sedwick) in May 2013 at a price in excess of US$800. In the auction DFS mentions that this piece is the only one known up till now, with a value estimated between US1000 and US$2000. The auction can be seen at the link:                 http://auction.sedwickcoins.com/Quito-Ecuador-2-reales-1834-5GJ-unique-overdate-no-dot-after-CONSTITUCION-encapsulated-NGC-VF_i15947128      Mr. Seppa also mentions in his compendium that he had not the opportunity to find the records and the verification code assigned by NGC, to be able to study this unusual overdate and confirm it, but it is clear that it concerns a 2 reales of 1835 GJ overstruck with a 4. This we can easily confirm because the only difference which exists between the 2 reales coins of 1834 and those of 1835 is the period at the end of the word CONSTITUCION (all the 1834 coins have a period at the end of the said word, whilst the 1835 coins do not have the period).  The overstruck coin from the DFS auction (1834/5) does not have the period, as is indicated in the description from the DFS auction, which clearly confirms that it is a coin  from a die of 1835 overstruck with a 4.       The coin from the DFS auction passed through the hands of several Ecuadorian collectors until I acquired it in March 2017, together with the white holder for the Slab and the NGC certification label with which it had been auctioned in 2013, since the coin had been removed from its container. The verification code on this certification was 2782907-001.      In April 2017 I sent this coin to NGC again, so that it could be reviewed by the certification experts for the second time. The result obtained was exactly the same as the previous certification. 2 reales 1834/5 GJ with the grade VF DETAILS, with the same defect of Hairlines. This new certification has the verification code 2812314-001    That is to say that four years after the first certification NGC again validated the same overdate of 4 over 5, with the same grade of condition and recording the defect of Hairlines, without being informed that it involved the same piece that had been certified in 2013. This we can easily confirm by comparing both NGC photographic records of 2013 and 2017, where can be seen even the same Hairlines below the letter R on the obverse (2 marks below the R).       This causes us to ask the following questions:  How did this improbable overdate happen?  Why was a die of 1835 corrected with a 4?     First  Mr.  Dale  Seppa  was  contacted  so  that  he  could  review the overstrike,  since  he  had  already  announced  its  existence  and  had  not had  the  opportunity  to  obtain photographs in 2013   for  a  more detailed  examination. He succeeded in confirming that the overdate existed, and that in his opinion it was genuine and an authentic original mintage of the coin. Mr. Michael Anderson also checked this aspect, arriving at the same conclusion about the improbable overdate.    So, how do we explain what happened?  We can only offer some hypotheses based on the research and conclusions reached by historians about the events of the period 1834 to 1836. 1. –    We    must    take   into   account   that   one   of   the  engravers  who   prepared   dies  in  the  period  of  1834  and 1835   was  Mr. Eduardo Coronel,   who,  according   to   Melvin  Hoyos  in  his   “La Moneda   Ecuatoriana  a  través  de  los  tiempos”,    was   dismissed  as mint  engraver  for  irresponsibility  in  his  duties.   It  is  not   explained what   irresponsible   duties   Mr.  Coronel   committed  to  be  dismissed, but  we  must   wonder   if   this   could   have   been   one   of   the   irresponsible   errors  in  his  duties. 2. –   Melvin  Hoyos  also  mentions  in  his  work  that  Mr.  Eduardo Coronel  was  found  with  a  die  stolen  from  the  mint.   This,  according to  the  unpublished  Numismatic  History  of  Ecuador  of  IZA  Terán Carlos,  occurred  in  March  1836,  and  production  in  this  year  was ordered  to  begin  only  on  14  June,  according  to  what  is  said  in Melvin  Hoyos’  book,  second  edition,  page  110.   All  this  allows  us  to make  the  following  observations: a.-   It  is  impossible  that  the  theft   of   the   die   related   to  one produced   in   1836,    since   the   minting  of  coins  was  ordered  in   June  1836  and   Mr.   Eduardo   Coronel   was   found   with  the   stolen die  in  March  of  that  year. b.-   We  can  infer  that  the  stolen  die  must  have been of  the year 1835 or earlier, which were those which existed before Mr. Coronel was found out,  but it is very probable that he would have taken one of those most readily available at the time,   which would have to be one of 1835,  to be used in his criminal activity in 1835 and/or 1836 until being found out. c.-   According  to  the  unpublished   Numismatic  History  of Ecuador   of     IZA   Terán   Carlos,     it   is   said    that    Mr. Coronel  carried   out   his   forgeries   in   the   same   mint  where  he   was   found  with   a  stolen  die  in  March  1836. d.- In the early days of the Republic, forgers used to steal part of the silver from coins of good fineness, making fraudulent coinages of base fineness, and thus making a profit from the metal they obtained.     Considering   these   observations,  we  can  develop  certain hypotheses,  such  as  the  possibility  that  the  stolen  die  was  probably of  the  year  1835,   and  the  date  could  have been  altered  by Mr. Coronel  to  that  of  the  previous  year  (1834/5)  with  the  objective of being  able  to  incorporate  his  base  pieces,   produced  in  the  same mint,   very  probably from  1835  to  early  1836,   trying  to  hide  them among   coins   of   a   year   of   which   there   already   existed  a complete   supply   in   circulation;   for  which  it  is  necessary  to remember   that   the   1835   mintage   began   in   March   and   lasted until  December,   so   that  at  the  beginning  not  enough  of  the  1835 coinage  could  have  existed  to  conceal the false  coins.   Another hypothesis  could  be  that  he  did  it  to  avoid  the  quality  controls  of coins   minted  in  1835,    being   dated   as  1834   they   would   be exempt   from   control   if   the   coinage   was   not   part   of  the production   current   at   the   time.     Or   he  could  have  changed   the die  simply  so  as  not  to  have  in  his  possession  a  die  of  a  year currently in  production.    But  any  of  these  hypotheses  would  require that  the  piece  under  consideration  would  be  an  adulterated  coin  of the  time,    coined  in  the  mint  itself,    and  that the  piece  would  have to  contain  little  or  almost  no  silver.     This  would  have  been  detected by  NGC  or  by  any  of  the  persons  who  reviewed  this  coin; furthermore  collectors with  any  experience  could  see  that  the  coin  is of  good  silver.     Alternatively  the  Quito's  mint  could  have  struck  this piece  in  good  silver  after  the  die  was  recovered  from  Mr. Coronel, either  for  the  record  or  simply  by  mistake. 3.-   The  third  hypothesis  is  based  on  a  simple  question:   What relevant  fact  occurred  in  1835  which  could  affect  the  design  of  that tears  coins?    On 13 August 1835 the second Ecuadorian Constitution was promulgated, abolishing the idea of the confederation with Colombia and changing the name “State of Ecuador in the Republic of Colombia” (abbreviated on the coins as “El Ecuador en Colombia”) to “República del Ecuador”). Therefore it is necessary to ascertain in which months the 1835 2 reales were produced, since if all or part of them were made after 13 August there is reason to think that the date could have been corrected intentionally so that the design did not contradict what had been established by the new Constitution. In such a case it would be easier to correct the date than the name of the country. If this hypothesis were correct, this extremely rare specimen would indicate the intention to avoid the 1835 coinage being inconsistent with what had been approved by the Constitution on 13 August of that year.     Perhaps having had the intention of correcting the date, they tested the viability of a few specimens and in the end decided not to make the correction, leaving us this example which would become a witness to the political and constitutional changes in the country.     This  event,   the  change  of  name  to  República  del  Ecuador, coincides  with  the  exact  year  of  the  manufacture  of  this overstruck coin.   Probably  we  shall  never  know  the  real reason  why  and  how it was  done,   but  what  is  certain  is  that  the  piece  has  this  unusual detail,  which  was  verified  by  NGC  on  two  occasions  (in 2013 and 2017).   Furthermore  it was  reviewed  by  persons  with  much  experience of  colonial  and  pre-decimal  coins,    such as Daniel Frank Sedwick, when he offered this piece in his auction house in 2013, describing it as the only one known up to that time, and Messrs. Dale Seppa and Michael Anderson, who had the opportunity to study this improbable overstrike.     Definitely  it  must  be  a  very  scarce  coin.      Xavier Alban Rubio 

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nicecoinsec

09/13/2017

Last Reply:
09/16/2017

 

Ecuadorian Overdate Coins

Ecuadorian Overdate Coins.         Whilst  Ecuadorian  numismatic  history  is short,  due  to  its  having begun   its  own  coinage  only  in  1/833,   it  does   have   an   extraordinary  variety  of  specimens  that  makes  it  very rich  and interesting  for  collectors.       It  is  common to find  within  a  s ingle year some very apparent differences  which  make  each  coin  individual,  varieties  such  as  subtle changes  in  the  design  of the shield,  errors in the legend such  as inverted  or  altered  letters,  crude  minting,  overstrikes,  minting  errors etc.      Amongst  the  varieties  of  overstruck  coins there exists a huge range of  pieces  with  overstruck  dates  which  enriches our  coinage.  We may note  that  with  very few exceptions most of the coins with overstruck dates  are  found  on  ½,  1  and  2  decimos  pieces  from  1891  to  1912. It is very puzzling that most of these coins appear only in these denominations, and even more puzzling that almost all of them relate solely to the mint of Lima. The overstruck dates do not occur in the mints of Birmingham  or  Philadelphia,  and  in  the  case of the mint of  Santiago  de Chile, Krause  World Coins records an overdate only on the ONE DECIMO coin 1889/1789,  which,  since  it  relates  to  an  8  over  7  in   the  hundreds  of  the  date,  is  clearly  dealing  with  the correction  of  a date  error.    The  overdated  piece  of  Santiago  de  Chile  is  very  scarce,  and  the  NGC  Census  reports  the  existence  of  only  one piece.      It is worth mentioning that there exists no record of why these overdates occurred in the Lima Mint, but it had been standard practice on Peruvian coins since the earliest days of the Republic. It is believed that the motive was to optimize the cost of production of the dies. It is thought that the operating cost was less if larger quantities of dies were produced, so that the excess could be used in subsequent years, for which it was necessary only to correct the digits of the date with the year in which Ecuador requested a new supply of coinage. This theory is only a hypothesis of various experienced collectors, because as already mentioned there exists no kind of record which clarifies this mystery, which was very common in the Lima mint, and there is no other logical explanation which allows a second hypothesis.       In  this  way,  by  checking   the  catalogues,   we   find    the  following coins   where   the   dates   were  overstruck  for  use  in  subsequent years: 2 decimos 1889 TF Lima was overstruck for the years: 1892/89, 1893/89, 1894/89 and 1895/89 1 decimo 1894 TF Lima was overstruck for the year 1899/4 ½ decimo 1893 TF Lima was overstruck for the year 1894/3 ½ decimo 1897 TF Lima was overstruck for the year 1899/7 ½ decimo 1902 JF Lima was overstruck for the year 1905/2 (There is no record of this in the NGC CENSUS or PCGS)     There  also  exist  some  ½  decimo  coins  minted  in  Lima  with overstruck  dates  which  show  the  practice  of  preparing  dies  with  the last  one  or  two  figures  of  the date  left  blank,   but  which  still  needed to  be  overstruck  because  of  the  change  of  decade  or  century,  such as: ½  decimo  JF  Lima  1899/87 ½ decimo JF Lima 1902/802 and 1902/892 (There is no record of 1902/892 in the NGC CENSUS and PCGS) ½  decimo  JF  Lima  1905/805       That  this  practice  of  overstriking  the  decade  and  century  on  dies where  the  final  digit  or  digits  were  left  blank  was  common  practice  in the  Lima  mint  is  evidenced  by  the existence  in  the  Peruvian  series  of ½  dinero  1900/890,  1901/801,  1901/891,  1902/802,   1902/892, 1903/803,  1903/893,  1904/894,  1905/805,  1  dinero  1900/890,  1902/892, 1903/893, sol  1890/80,  1891/81,  1892/82  and  many  more.      We  should  mention  that  there  is  no  record  in  the  NGC  and  PGC Censuses  of  certain  coins  such  as  the  ½  decimos 1902/892 and 1905/2,  so there is no confirmation of the existence of these pieces, although   both   coins   are   reported   in   the   Krause   World   Coins  catalog.      In  addition  to  the  overdated  decimal  coins,   there  exist  other  pieces known with the same type of error corresponding to the pre-decimal coinage, amongst which the following are recorded:     SILVER                                                  GOLD 2 Reales 1848/7 GJ                         8 Escudos 1849/7 GJ - Very rare ½ Real 1833 - M over ½                  8 Escudos 1852/0 GJ ¼ Real 1843/2 - Very rare                8 Escudos 1855/2 GJ       All these pre-decimal overstruck pieces are confirmed to exist     NGC  also  mentions  the  existence  of  an  overstruck  2  reales  1839/8 MV,   but there  still  exists  no  record  in  the  Census  so  we  are  unable to confirm its existence.   Xavier Alban Rubio.

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09/13/2017

Last Reply:
04/28/2018