Home World & Ancient Coins Forum

Acquired a relatively humble (raw) Mexico 4 Reales coin, but can you tell what's unusual about it?

I recently purchased this 1758 Mexican 4 Reales.

I don't typically buy raw coins, especially when the only option to view the coin prior to purchase is through a sellers photos. In this case however, I felt that this particular 4 Reales was worth a taking a shot at considering it appeared to be a somewhat decent looking coin and it wasn't very expensive. The thing that gave me the final push to pull the trigger though was that this coin is different than what you most often encounter for this particular date/denomination.

Can you tell, or guess, what that difference (variety) is?

I'll tell you that I found it with the aid of a new book I purchased recently that may be of interest to others out there who collect these series of coins. Reference my comment in this post here if you want more info on the book: Coin Books

First the sellers pictures then a few by camera phone.



«1

Comments

  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,681 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The M o looks different on the left side of the date. And on the otherside, to the left there is a double M across from the 4 R... Off the top of my head, I am not sure if that is the norm. A decent example-congrats

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • YorkshiremanYorkshireman Posts: 4,492 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am no expert, but the observe differences look like a cud of one side and dirt on the other.
    The reverse MM represents initials of the minter or assayer.

    Yorkshireman,Obsessed collector of round, metallic pieces of history.Hunting for Latin American colonial portraits plus cool US & British coins.
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the guess coinkat and Yorkshireman.
    I can see were you'd both draw some of those conclusions, but the true difference doesn't lie there .

    Here is a typical '58 4R to speed things up. (NOT MY COIN below)
    A quick internet search will shown this type is what shows up most times.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 20, 2018 12:24PM

    The variety is unlisted in Gilboy for this Date/Denomination combination by the way.
    Brad Yonaka's new book brought it to my attention.
    Can you believe that it has been roughly 20 years since anyone has put out a reference book for this type of material, 1999 - 2017, especially given the popularity of Spanish/Mexican/Latin American/ Early Circulating Coinage.

  • TwoKopeikiTwoKopeiki Posts: 9,507 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice original example. Are you referring to the different imperial crown on the left pillar?

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TwoKopeiki said:
    Nice original example. Are you referring to the different imperial crown on the left pillar?

    Exactly TwoKopeiki, most 1758 4R's will depict the redesigned closed wings, where as this variety depicts the earlier open wings.

    Gilboy noted that M-4-33 with closed wings was the norm, if you will, and that there existed a variety in the 1759 4R coin that has open wings, yet Brad's new book makes a note that in his studies that he had not observed a single example of the closed wings type for the 1759 4R, which seemily is a little strange.

    In my searches for 1759 4R, of a far significantly smaller scale than that of Brad's, I found all were of the open wings variety (9), I didn't find any that were the closed wing variety . Conversely, in my searches for 1758 4R's I found all were closed wings (16).

    Not earth shattering of course but interesting I think and it makes me feel as if I found an easter egg in acquiring the open winged 1758 4 Reales variety.

  • bidaskbidask Posts: 13,824 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TwoKopeiki said:
    Nice original example. Are you referring to the different imperial crown on the left pillar?

    @TwoKopeiki said:
    Nice original example. Are you referring to the different imperial crown on the left pillar?

    @TwoKopeiki said:
    Nice original example. Are you referring to the different imperial crown on the left pillar?

    Roman your quite the numismatist. ;)

    Sorry I missed you at NYINC.

    Dan

    I manage money. I earn money. I save money .
    I give away money. I collect money.
    I don’t love money . I do love the Lord God.




  • sylsyl Posts: 885 ✭✭✭

    The center post/prong of the left crown points to entirely different part of the A in Vtraque .. the whole reverse has to be different, spacing-wise.

  • SDSportsFanSDSportsFan Posts: 5,078 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2018 11:36AM

    Also, the first stroke of the "N" in "UNUM" points to different parts of the right crown. Additionally, the second "U" in "UNUM" is evenly spaced between the "N" and "M" in one, but closer to the "N" in the other. Further, the "A" in "VTRAQUE is tilted differently in each verson.

    Steve

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,572 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cool coin for sure!

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2018 2:34PM
  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,823 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Got my Yonaka book the other day. Good reference!

  • jgennjgenn Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2018 7:39PM

    @syl said:
    The center post/prong of the left crown points to entirely different part of the A in Vtraque .. the whole reverse has to be different, spacing-wise.

    @SDSportsFan said:
    Also, the first stroke of the "N" in "UNUM" points to different parts of the right crown. Additionally, the second "U" in "UNUM" is evenly spaced between the "N" and "M" in one, but closer to the "N" in the other. Further, the "A" in "VTRAQUE is tilted differently in each verson.

    Steve

    These coins were not made from hubbed dies. Each individual element is struck (from a master punch set) onto the working die and many dies were needed to meet the high production volume -- that means each die will have a slight variance in the details that you have commented on.

  • jgennjgenn Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 23, 2018 8:34AM

    If a genuine issue is not from hubbed dies, what if you see the same die variations on coins with different dates?

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 23, 2018 10:06AM

    @jgenn said:
    If a genuine issue is not from hubbed dies, what if you see the same die variations on coins with different dates?

    Is it that the die maker used the same template from a prior issue, and perhaps even the same punches, to create dies of varying years?

    Could it even get down to the techniques and habits of an individual die maker over a span of time?

    *Edit to add a number of reverse dies (date side per Gilboy) might be used in production paired with one obverse die.

    I'm not very sure but I'd love to learn more.

  • jgennjgenn Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JohnnyCache, sorry to be so cryptic but I want realeswatcher at CCF to have credit for the research.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    See my post over on CCF.

    I'd really appreciate people's thoughts so as to be better informed if the folks at CCF are correct.
    I am not yet convinced but I'm willing to be convinced.

  • TwoKopeikiTwoKopeiki Posts: 9,507 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting discussion at CCF. Looking at other posted examples in this family, I think this coin deserves additional scrutiny wrt authenticity.

    Would have fooled me. I'll follow both of the posts to read additional commentary from Jack and Brian.

  • TwoKopeikiTwoKopeiki Posts: 9,507 ✭✭✭✭✭

    JC - same principle that would not rule out your coin as a counterfeit by itself would do so if there's a multi-year group from the same die.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Most definitely convinced now that it's a fake by the way.

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,442 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fascinating.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting thread.... I have recently become interested in these old reales... have not acquired any yet, but casually looking... Thanks for the information... Cheers, RickO

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is the piece I have in my type set.


    The Pillar type 4 reales is a scarce and expensive coin. For some reason the Spanish Empire did not make a great many of these coins. There is an incentive to conterfeit them.

    To me the left pillar on the op coin does not look right. It leans in the right, perhaps to avoid hitting the legend, which it is not supposted to do.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25, 2018 1:16PM

    Great Post - THANK YOU! <3<3<3

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25, 2018 1:20PM
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25, 2018 1:28PM

    *Edit to add: This info is being posted and saved for future historical reference for the benefit of those who come after us.

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,603 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like this thread, despite the fact that the OP had his bubble burst.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:
    I like this thread, despite the fact that the OP had his bubble burst.

    :)

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25, 2018 1:51PM

    I think it's worth repeating that the credit for nearly all of this information goes to Realeswatcher @ CCF
    Thank You Again the information you have provided truly is invaluable to those of us learning the ropes, and apparently to the more experienced as well. ;)

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Seeing as how I'm now left wondering how many Reales are actually real, it brought a thought to my head that this could possibly be one area of coin collecting that could see a true benefit by having a long established provenance of ownership. Sometimes that provenance gets lost in the shuffle of re-grades and TPG swaps, it very well may prove to be even more valuable to hold on to it.

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JohnnyCache said:
    I think it's worth repeating that the credit for nearly all of this information goes to Realeswatcher @ CCF
    Thank You Again the information you have provided truly is invaluable to those of us learning the ropes, and apparently to the more experienced as well. ;)

    IMO, the best information on Cap & Ray and Pillar coins is on CCF. There are several specialists, authors, and researchers posting there who don't post here.

    That said, in my experience CU is the best forum for U.S. coins by far - nothing even comes close if we exclude the specialty sites. I've virtually stopped viewing the happenings elsewhere.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 26, 2018 10:07AM

    Is this piece made of silver, or is it "counterfeit Chinese coin silver" which artificially toned steel or some other combination of base metals that are not magnetic?

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 26, 2018 1:14PM

    I ran a specific gravity and I'm getting between 8.88 and 9.0, as the scale is sensitive to any movement I make as I try to weight it in the water

    Edit to add: See below for better setup and answers

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 26, 2018 12:54PM

    Ok, after running it a couple more times, and on two different scales, while using vibration pads and trying to be very steady. I got between a 9.245 and 9.3 repeatedly on both scales, multiple times.

    I was using a bent paperclip the first go around to hold the coin and I hadn't eliminated that weight, though not much it was still a factor. I then made adjustments to the setup on the second run.

    The number above is a good number

  • jgennjgenn Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JohnnyCache said:
    The number above is a good number

    A specific gravity that low indicates silver but debased from a genuine issue which would be more like 10.3

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jgenn said:

    @JohnnyCache said:
    The number above is a good number

    A specific gravity that low indicates silver but debased from a genuine issue which would be more like 10.3

    Agreed, when I say a good number I meant for the purpose of a "good reading" not having my hand shaking and the scale fluctuating. Not in terms of the amount of silver was good.

    After getting a second scale setup, using the vibration pads under each, remembering to also zero out the paper clip and finally concentrating on being steady handed. I was able to get more consistent readings on each scale, that were also consistent with each other.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,823 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wish that people like realeswatcher on the the other forum weren’t so F’ing arrogant and condescending in their “education”. I’ve learned a lot but can always learn more as can they.

  • mkman123mkman123 Posts: 6,849 ✭✭✭✭

    How come some of these experts aren't forth coming with information? Why withhold it for? The info that they know would definitely help all collectors.

    Successful Buying and Selling transactions with:

    Many members on this forum that now it cannot fit in my signature. Please ask for entire list.
  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 27, 2018 8:20AM

    @Boosibri said:
    I wish that people like realeswatcher on the the other forum weren’t so F’ing arrogant and condescending in their “education”. I’ve learned a lot but can always learn more as can they.

    @mkman123 said:
    How come some of these experts aren't forth coming with information? Why withhold it for? The info that they know would definitely help all collectors.

    Perhaps there is another thing to consider. I've been in a few authentication seminars over the years in the US.
    Heck, this will take too long - sorry...Here is the very short version.

    1. In the past, coin authentication was pretty easy with the right tools and access to known genuine specimens. I have learned that is no longer the case.
    2. Over a period of time, an authenticator gets experienced so some "experts" become better than others.
    3. There are organizations, to join that publish info on C/F coins.
    4. In modern times (especially today) the fakes can be very deceptive.
    5. Any information about the diagnostics of C/F's eventually gets back to the crooks. I was told in one case in the 1970's it took approximately a month to see identical new fakes that had been "corrected" based on information given in a class.
    6. Some folks say tell everything to help collectors while others believe it is best to keep secrets. For several decades a happy medium has been reached and some diagnostics are revealed. I am now leaning to the side of the experts who keep secrets.

    As to arrogant and condescending, think of it this way. The majority of you don't bother to even reply when some new member posts a photo of an obviously damaged coin asking if it is a mint error. Some may view that as...

    I look at it this way. At least Realwatcher replies and he can be as arrogant and condescending as he wishes. He owes us nothing. :)

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I believe in treating people, as I would like to be treated.

    I also always try to be polite and respectful, even when others may rub me the wrong way, because after all, anyone can have a bad day.

    At the end of the day though, we can't change the behavior of other people, we can only control our own behavior.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 6, 2021 10:08AM

    :/UPDATE :/

    :o:o:o

    Well look what just showed up on Heritage.
    I gave my coin away to a dealer for the purpose of educating buyers on how to spot fakes and to show folks just how good some fakes can be.

    I think this may be the same coin I gave away, though I certainly hope not.

    @jgenn
    @realeswatcher
    @Boosibri
    @TwoKopeiki
    @Abuelo
    @messydesk
    @MFeld

    https://coins.ha.com/itm/mexico/world-coins/ferdinand-vi-4-reales-1758-mo-mm-xf-details-cleaning-pcgs-/p/232152-53004.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515

    • EDIT: Now removed
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 4, 2021 1:16AM
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Posts: 1,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I felt like I was beaten up a little bit at the time over on the other forum, well I guess this shows it's not just those learning the ropes that can get fooled even PCGS and Heritage can have a little trouble now and then.

    https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=306236&whichpage=1

  • jgennjgenn Posts: 734 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm sure it was expertly "graded".

  • One thing first - I was indeed hard on you, JohnnyCache, back when this coin (& its siblings) first came up - probably too much so. IDK, you had started off going on about cherrypicking off a fairly new book... In my cynical mind, it stirs up visions of VAM silliness, which I view as wannabe flippers looking for a way to capitalize on overly pedantic varieties in a mature hobby field that's otherwise largely been "picked over". I'm likely too salty along those lines, but IDGAF.

    From your posts over the last few years, you've proven that you're a hobbyist/collector who's truly into this coinage.

    I will say - did this whole exercise not push you to study these coins and learn more about them than you knew before?? ;) I can say this discussion certainly did for me.

    So yes, the PCGS "XF details - cleaned" piece now appearing as a Heritage auction preview IS that exact coin... someone removed some of the artificial tone, but confirming spots remain. Johnny, you should give that dealer you gave it to a piece of your mind, out loud, in front of as many people as possible.

    And to refresh, it is CONCLUSIVE that this is a numismatic forgery. So from talking with Brad Yonaka via the CCF thread and then email, there are a number of dates that "they did" from whatever original host was used... 1759 was the latest. I thought 1754 was the earliest, though I believe Brad mentioned that a 1752 popped up? I don't have my files in front of me.

  • PS - BTW, I do go back and forth on how much in terms of specifics to point out on counterfeits. I don't think we can assume the counterfeiters know all these things already (or least, know to CARE about them)... because otherwise they wouldn't make these easily correctable mistakes.

    Yes, pointing out specifics can help a person in the here and now avoid a bad buy... but I think the best approach is to teach people how to fish in general.

Sign In or Register to comment.