Home Spain stamps Detection of counterfeits: 8 reals counter-stamped in the Philippines

Detection of counterfeits: 8 reals counter-stamped in the Philippines


By Jay Turner for PCGS ……

There are many counterfeits and altered coins that unfortunately often scam people in an effort to build up their collection or seek arbitrage. With a little common sense, many of these parts can be easily detected and avoided.

When Spain lost its empire Americasone of the overseas territories he retained was the Philippines. A crucial area for exchanges between Asiathe Americas and Europe, the Spanish Philippines played a vital economic role for Spain and its newly liberated colonial territories which now functioned as independent countries. These new nations continued to mine silver and produce coins which were a vital part of trade with Asia. By decree, the Spanish government required that these new coins from new countries be allowed to be used in the Philippines with, first, an overprint until the dies fail, then a counter-stamp with “F .7.o.” or “Y.II.” for either FerdinandVII or queen Isabella IIaccording to the reigning monarch at the time.

Countermarked coinage from the Spanish Philippines has been a popular collection area for the diversity of coinage that can be found with these countermarks. In recent years, with new books, major collection sales and new studies, the area has been incredibly hot, with each sale seemingly bringing new record prices. Although counterfeits relating to this series are not new, several well-made counterfeit counter-stamps have been applied, and attempts to certify these coins and offer them for public sale have taken place.

The coin presented here is a Philippine stamp type “Y.II.” applied to a Cap Mexico and Rays 8 Reales. Without knowing the series, this piece could fool many people; there are, however, many simple common-sense clues on the piece.

First of all, looking at the stamp, the design is wrong – especially on the “Y”, which looks more like a “V”. These dies are not genuine for what has been applied to coins in the Philippines and this stamp is documented as counterfeit.

Yet the easiest way to distinguish this counterfeit coin is by date.

The “Y.II.” the stamps were applied by decree of December 20, 1834, and were finally applied on March 31, 1837, by decree of February 1, 1836. For genuine examples of the “Y.II.” counter stamp, the date range would be (1834-1837), and this fake stamp is applied to an 8 reales dated 1879. Just looking at the date range of genuine examples and the date of the host coin, the authenticity is no longer in question.

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