• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

Counterfeit 8 Reales?
1 1

8 posts in this topic

Hi there, first foray into collecting coins, and first post here, so please be kind!

I recently bought an 8 reales coin online, then stumbled across some old forum posts online with experts discussing the high number of counterfeits and forgeries of the Silver 8 reales coin.

Not sure if anyone here has an eye for them, but I can't find the assayer's initials (T.H) on any online site for that year, to check this was minted in Mexico (which only seem to list F.M. for the year 1787), so starting to think this could be a counterfeit one.

The one I (thought I) bought is a Silver 8 Reales, Carlos III, 1787 Mo.T.H. Some photos attached.

Any thoughts much appreciated!

Cheers, Stopheles.

Obverse s-l1600.jpg

Reverse s-l1600.jpg

Side s-l500.jpg

Edited by Stopheles
typo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would get it checked out by an expert in 1787 Spanish shipwreck coins. It does look legitimate to me and same obverse as 1787 King George III (England). Weigh it. See below.

My photo states

Real Pirate COB 8 REALES 1787/6 FM KEY DATE COIN MEXICO CAROLUS III 26.82g, SEA Salvaged uncleaned. 

 

KEY Date Issue in 1787 series. Extremely Rare

IMG_5621.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome!

I also am no expert on these, despite owning two 8 Reales. One a 1786 and the other an 1808. I do know that counterfeits were common as it was difficult to detect being that there were so many different die marriages used to make them over the years.

You would need accurate measurements across in millimeters as well as a "base" weight to start with. From the looks of yours, I would lean towards it being genuine, but if that is a key year in the series, without having an expert "put it through the paces", it may need to be submitted to confirm its authenticity. Do keep in mind a vast majority of 8 Reales have been previously cleaned at some point and it is difficult to get ones straight graded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is not a genuine issue from the Mexico City mint -- the historical record shows that the assayers (identified by their initials) were not employed for that function during that date.  Forgers make dies from copies of obverses and reverses and will sometimes use mismatched pairs to generate their fake coins.  Do not be fooled if you can determine that the coin is a silver alloy.  Unless you can determine that it is 90% silver, you can be certain that it is a forgery, likely made for trade with Asia for its bullion value.  If you are interested in more details I suggest you buy the book by Robert Gurney "Counterfeit Portrait Eight-Reales: The Un-real Reales (Counterfeit Eight-Reales)"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Hi all, many thanks for the all feedback. Seems a mix of positive and negative views. The major issue with it, as I see it, and without having it tested for purity, is the "T.H." assayer's marks relate to a much later period (1803-10) as Walter (first comment above) has linked to. Thus how would those marks be on an earlier dated coin. Quite simply all the sources I have consulted suggest for 1787 it should carry the "F.M." marks for the Mexico mint, which is clearly on the coin. 

I agree that it looks genuine, I suppose good counterfeits do! But I also can't see the overlapping 0-0 links on the edge as some folks suggest should be there (x2) for the coin to be genuine, which I've read is due to the way it has been cast from two dies. All very interesting but not the simplest foray into the world of collecting coins. No wonder people stick to evaluated coins or just buy bullion

In any case, I think I will alert the seller to this issue and ask for a refund. Let's see what they say. Many thanks again folks, and happy collecting!

Edited by Stopheles
typo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/30/2023 at 10:12 AM, Stopheles said:

The major issue with it, as I see it, and without having it tested for purity, is the "T.H." assayer's marks relate to a much later period (1803-10) as Walter (first comment above) has linked to. Thus how would those marks be on an earlier dated coin. Quite simply all the sources I have consulted suggest for 1787 it should carry the "F.M." marks for the Mexico mint, which is clearly on the coin.

That should be enough that it has the incorrect initials right off the bat, and no purity testing is needed.  8 Reales are one of the most counterfeited coins and you should proceed accordingly being very careful with raw coins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/30/2023 at 3:24 PM, EagleRJO said:

That should be enough that it has the incorrect initials right off the bat, and no purity testing is needed.  8 Reales are one of the most counterfeited coins and you should proceed accordingly being very careful with raw coins.

Yep, a valuable first lesson. Hopefully a relatively cheap mistake to make. In life, nothing focuses the mind better and gets you thinking about the details than getting scammed :-D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
1 1