Fake 1908 Piastre coin

This is a counterfeit of common KM#5a piastre type.
White metal. Weight: 27.98g. (regular weight for this type: 27.00g)
Well done. I'm still not sure if it was struck or cast, for it gives a good ring.
I will appreciate any comments about this piece.
Please email me: sema@uic.edu


Comments from Alexander Basok:
basok@rustypennies.com http://www.rustypennies.com

I had an opportunity to examine a 1908 French Indochina 1 piastre coin. Obviously a counterfeit it had some puzzling features, that the method of manufacture for instance remains not absolutely clear. Brassy color and feel the features of the most elements were quite caricaturesque and obviously hand cut. The surfaces had bubbles and pimples and there was a clear visible seam on the most circumference of the obverse surface of the rim, which suggests a casting technique. However the coin gave a clear ring on a strike and combined with some elements of design that were obviously hand cut made a suspicion for a handmade die.

Who, when and why such coin was manufactured is most likely related to the method of itís manufacture. It is one of the most common dates, and does not look very close to the original, therefore we will rule out a modern forgery of a rare coin to deceive a collector. Most likely the coin was manufactured at the time it circulated in the region, close to the date on the coin. The purpose of its manufacture was to pass a chunk of base metal for silver, otherwise to spend it as money. The production of such great number of multiples would require employing a die striking rather than casting and the problem of counterfeits flooding the market in Southeast Asia is very well known. Most likely the counterfeiters used the dies at the end, but used casting in the process of the preparation of the die, and the finial result has many signs of both processes, but regardless of the method of its manufacture the counterfeit is a counterfeit and this one is a beautiful one, a fine example of something very typical for the regionís commerce and economy.



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