Counterfeit 8 reale?
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I listed this 1809 8 reale recently on ebay and an apparent expert on counterfeits on these contacted me showing interest: http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-Reales-1809-MEXICAN-VF-IN-PRESENTATION-CASE-/231720543496?ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123

 

Hello,

 

I just noticed your eBay offering of an 1809 8 reales mint mark Mo and assayer initials JJ. Are you aware that the coin is a counterfeit? There were no Mexican 8 Rs made with assayer initials JJ until 1814. The America's First Silver Dollar program sold many counterfeit coins as originals. They purchased coins in bulk from China where the coins were mixed in with genuine coins.

 

I just sent an offer of $65 for the coin which is based on it being sealed inside the original America's First Silver Dollar holder.

 

I collect and document counterfeit Mexican 8 reales and in 2014 I published the definitive edition on the type - "Counterfeit Portrait Eight Reales" (see Amazon). If you care to check my credentials simply google "swamperbob counterfeit" and see what comes up. I have collected these for about60 years and was an authenticator for over 20 years for professional coin dealers and my last position before retiring was as an authenticator for eBay.

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It does closely resemble a counterfeit, from the pictures. It has a raised rim with dentils attached to it like beading would be on later, close-collar strikes, as opposed to just dentils, seen on open collar coinage. It is also probably perfectly round, and too small in diameter. These will often be Morgan dollar sized. I have even seen them with a reeded edge. The metallic composition is usually base metal, or debased silver alloy. And rough, grainy surfaces from electrotyping or casting are given.

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Thanks for the feedback and he did me a favor by making an offer on it. I don't whether the company whose plastic it is housed in honors their product sales.

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He's correct. It's a counterfeit. Furthermore, the guy wrote a book on counterfeits. Swamperbob knows his stuff.

 

I guess I wasn't specific enough with my list of confirming characteristics :sorry:

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On the topic I got this from Swamper Bob on an 8 reales coin I sent to ICG which they gave a no decision on:

 

"... I spoke at length to one of the chief graders at ICG, Mike Fazzari. I explained the thesis of my book - that counterfeit silver versions of the Portrait 8R were manufactured in great numbers for the China Trade. These were not back room forgers but government sponsored entities that made hundreds of thousands of well made full weight silver counterfeits each year for about 100 years. I know Mike wanted to explore the thesis more and he bought a copy of my book. (NGC did as well). Last month Mike published an article in Numismatic News (October 6, 2015) which mentioned me by name and raised the topic of Third Party Grading services encapsulating these same forgeries. It does sound as if his influence is being felt . A vote of "no decision" is virtually a code for counterfeit. None of the TPG's seem to actually say Counterfeit except in the case of well documented Numismatic Forgeries that were recently made using incorrect technologies. A no decision is something I take as vindication of my life's work in documenting this class of counterfeit coin.

 

"Mike has been given the 20 clues that I developed for identifying suspicious coins. He has likely implemented the list of characteristics as a screening test for the ICG authenticators. If so they will be less and less likely to encapsulate suspect coins in the future."

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Thanks for posting your communication with Bob, Nutmeg. That's a very interesting insight into a TPG's authentication process. I hope NGC has or will implement a similar process for 8 reales that they review.

~jack

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In case anyone's interested, here's a link to a discussion in The E-Sylum of Swamper Bob's book from when it came out in September 2014:

 

Link

 

I found his assertion that the coins had been made for the China Trade long after they were originally minted very comparable to the Maria Theresa Thaler, which, as we know, was made by a number of mints for trade in Africa long after it was originally minted.

 

I don't think I've ever heard of any clandestine minting of the Maria Theresa Thaler, though.

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I just ordered Swamperbob's book on 8 Reales counterfeits through Amazon. This coin came to me from my father-in-law's estate. It is an 1805 F.T., which I believe was not an actual mint location for that date. This came from PCS's America's First Silver Dollar program.  I welcome any comments regarding its authenticity.

IMG-20180430-075106951.jpg

IMG-20180430-075120253.jpg

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The mint location, Mexico City, did produce eight reales that year but you are correct in that the assayer's initials FT were last used in 1803. The initials used in 1805 should've been TH. So this is either an unknown variety that used a two-year-old reverse, a mint error, or a fake. And if it's a fake is a contemporary or modern? Chances of it being an unknown variety are slim. Chances of it being a fake or much better but whether it's contemporary or modern I can't say. We need somebody better versed in the series and/or someone who can see it in hand. Images leave a lot to be desired when determining authenticity.

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Welcome, Goethe.  You have a counterfeit 8 reales.  As Conder101 pointed out the F and T are the assayer's initials.  If the coin were genuine then the mintmark, M with the small o above, would indicate Mexico City.  On a genuine Mexico City 8 reales from 1805 only the assayer's initials T and H appear.  When you get your copy of Bob Gurney's book you will see an entry for a contemporary counterfeit 1805 8 reales with the Mo mintmark and FT initials but the design is much more crude than yours, as almost all contemporary counterfeits were.  Yours was made in a later time, after 1850, when the technique for making transfer dies appeared.

Edited by jgenn

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Many thanks for this helpful feedback!!! I'm working on a project related to these 8 reales counterfeits and perhaps can let you know of its outcome by the end of next week.

Best,

Goethe

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