Any thoughts on this lead counterfeit 1740 8 Reales coin?

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Harry G, Nov 18, 2023.

  1. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Hi all!

    I recently bought this coin as part of a small lot of contemporary imitations. It is a lead copy of a 1740 8 reales coin.

    Untitled (17).png

    Does anyone know if the fake was actually made around 1740, or was it made more recently? I can't see any test cuts/scratches that would indicate it was found in circulation and tested.

    Incidentally, here is a small selection of some of the other coins in that lot. I believe these ones are contemporary.

    1915 George V Half Crown (Lead)

    Untitled (18).png

    1818 George III Half Crown (Brass)
    Untitled (19).png

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  3. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    It could be contemporary, I suppose, but I don't know if there is any way to definitively say for sure. I reckon folks have been copying silver coins in lead for a very long time, eh? Interesting piece, regardless.
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  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Interesting. Are you sure the metal is lead? I say this because a number of salvaged 1740 MF 4 reales (your coin is not an 8 reales based on the photo) have appeared on the market for the past several years. I assume they are from a specific salvage, but not specified in the listings I have encountered.

    A simple test for lead is to rub the edge of the coin on paper. Lead is quite soft so there should be a grey streak. What is the coin's weight? What is the edge detail like? A cast can never, in my experience, even come close to the floral design.

    I can't imagine anyone making a modern copy out of lead, and the surfaces of your coin certainly show poor detail, I my guess is that it is contemporary, made to fool the casual, unsuspecting individual.

    However, if the coin is actually silver, then it is quite likely that it came from this salvaged group of 4 reales coins.
  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    I concur with this, if it is actually lead and not environmentally damaged (sea-salvaged) silver.
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  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Good catch- I just noticed that. It's purportedly a four-reales, not an eight. And while fake eight-reales coins abound, I don't know of too many fake fours. It's possible, but less likely.

    I have a strong hunch this piece (fake or real) is contemporary, and not modern.
    Harry G likes this.
  7. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the responses! Apologies, yes, it is a 4 real coin (not 8 reales).

    It weighs 16.30g, so a good bit heavier than "normal" specimens (around 13.3g).

    The edge design shows traces of some kind of pattern, although that could just be wear.


    It does leave a grey mark when scratching the edge on some paper, so I'm guessing it is lead.
  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the information and additional photo.

    Yes, I agree that it is a fake, but given the crude nature of the coin and its lead composition, I think that it is most likely a contemporary fake, circa mid 18th century, and as such is a very interesting coin.
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  9. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Well-Known Member

    IMG_9487.jpeg IMG_9486.jpeg Nice score. I do love those contemporary counterfeits. So often they get trashed or scratched or stamped counterfeit. Still looking for a Henning circulating in CRH. Picked this pot metal goodie from LCS junk box in 2020
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  10. realeswatcher

    realeswatcher New Member

    The Hollandia shipwreck is the primary source for the rather plentiful amount of 1740 Mex 4R on the market. The Reijgersdaal has contributed a sprinkling as well, but most are Hollandia, and they've been on the market for 50 years now since their salvage.

    The piece shown above looks to be a specimen of a Hollandia wreck replica out of the UK. I have seen at least these (2) others before... plus several other vintage wreck repros from that outfit noted on the clamshell gift box. Note the telltale interruption/space in where the edge pattern meets the rim at 9 o'clock on the shield side (next to the king's "V" ordinal).

    If you look above IS of HISPAN on your piece, you'll note what looks to be the removed mount mark.

    Note there are also many Mexico 1740 8 Reales replicas out of the UK, which I presume were also done from Hollandia material. They pop up regularly from overly optimistic British eBay sellers... One in particular has an identifying mark (looks to be a somewhat intentional hallmark of sorts).

    Mexico 4R 1740 Hollandia repro.jpg
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