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If you like Mex War of Independence counterstamped issues...

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At five o'clok in the morning of September 16, 1810, the parish priest, Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, began his memorable revolt against the Spanish government of New Spain. For some time past, he and a handful of officers in the service of the king had been making plans to free the colony, but as the conspiracy had been denounced to the authorities a day or so previous, immediate action became imperative. The 16th was Sunday and the bells of Dolores Chapel tolled, calling the faithful, creoles as well as natives, to hear the word of God. Hidalgo appeared before the humble congregation, and instead of proceeding with the customary religious services, incited them to fight for independence. Everyone responded and within a few minutes self-appointed messengers swept the countryside, passing the good tidings by word of mouth. Six hours later the aged leader was at the head of six hundred men, and in twelve days the number had increased to more than twenty thousand. Less than a hundred muskets were available. Hoes, hatchets, improvised lances, and slings were the first weapons of the Army of Independence.


Guanajuato, one of the richest mining centers in New Spain, was attacked and taken on September 28, 1810, and it was there the numismatic history of independent Mexico began.


Disclaimer: while I believe the host coin to be authentic, i am still investigating the authenticity of the counterstamps. The host coin pictured below is from the Royalist Mint of Chihuahua and bears two insurgent counterstamps from those turbulent times: NORTE (Army of the North) and S.J.N.G (Suprema Junta Nacional Gubernativa or Supreme National Council).


NORTE (Army of the North):


When the Insurgent Generalissimo Hidalgo was taken prisoner by the royalist forces, Don Ignacio Lopez Rayon, a scion of a distinguished family and a barrister by profession, assumed the leadership of the Insurgent movement. Rayon was the first President of the Suprema Junta Nacional (SJNG) and Commander in Chief of the Army of the North (NORTE). As such, he revalidated Spanish-Colonial coins circulating in the districts under his control by counterstamping them with a circular die having in the center of the field an eagle on a cactus; an eight-pointed star or sunflower near the tip of the wing on the left side, and the word NORTE below. The outer edge of this counterstamp has radiated milling.




Pradeau in his book "Numismatic History of Mexico", which was used to quote most of this post, describes this as a circular counterstamp having on the upper portion in a segment of a circle four ornamental designs separated by three distinct dots. Below, in a straight line the capitals S.J.N.G. Having studied his plate coin, it is apparent that the counterstamp pictured in his book is, in fact, semicircular in shape, matching the example below.


Another really neat fact about this coin is the host - 1813 or a very early 1814 Zacatecas 8 Reales. I have never seen this host coin anywhere other than a reference book (granted I'm still young and rather inexperienced), so pretty excited about identifying it. First impulse when seeing the last assayer initial "P" was the file this under Chihuahua, but the bust was definitely Zacatecas. Ho and behold Calbeto listed an 1813 Zacates with assayer initials FP.






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My investigation so far revealed that the NORTE counterstamp is not authentic, which would make the other one suspect, as well. However at this point I still lean towards the host coin being genuine, which is still a win in my book.

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