Specialists in the colonial coinage of Spanish America as well as shipwreck coins and artifacts of all nations. In addition to publishing several catalogs per year, Mr. Sedwick is a regular vendor at major international coin shows, including FUN, CICF, and ANA.

Fake Cobs: Alerts & Database

Since the advent of eBay , fake cobs have proliferated online.  Since many counterfeits look perfectly good in photos, you don't know you are bidding on or even buying a fake till you actually receive it.  Often the weight will tip you off, but sometimes not.  For years now I have been "policing" eBay  and helping clients avoid these fakes, and I will continue to advise anyone who asks.  Below are some that are not readily detectable as fakes from the photos, but are known to be fakes simply by virtue of the fact that several different specimens exist with the exact same details and shape (never a reality on authentic cobs). Click here to check our FAKE COB DATABASE

ID#

"Fake Cob type" Photo (Click to Enlarge)

Comments

#FC53624 Mexico, 4 reales, Carlos-Juana, "Late Series," M to left, L to right (post-1554 type) Note I actually sold a specimen of this fake in 2005, and as recently as July, 2006, it was being offered by Chinese seller cliff* on eBay .
 #FC53625 Colombia, 2 Escudos - Mid-1600's. possibly gold-plated in some cases Another gold-cob fake that is turning up a lot in South and Central American markets is this mid-1600s 2 escudos made out of base metal or silver
 #FC53626 Mexico, 8 reales, 1630D  
 #FC53627 Mexico, 8 reales, 1635P Note this is identical, except for the date, to 1647/6P and 1657P #3 below, and this same planchet exists with contrived full dates 1634, 1637, 1649, 1655, 1656, and 1667
 #FC53628 Mexico, 8 reales, 1647/6P Note this is identical, except for the date, to 1635P above and 1657P #3 below, and this same planchet exists with contrived full dates 1634, 1637, 1649, 1655, 1656, and 1667
 #FC53629 Mexico, 8 reales, 1652/42P (piece shown here was originally offered from an eBay seller from Asia) Other sellers from other parts of the World might be offering the same piece as well.
 #FC53630 Mexico, 8 reales, 1653P #1 (piece shown here was originally offered from an eBay seller from Asia) Other sellers from other parts of the World might be offering the same piece as well.
 #FC53631 Mexico, 8 reales, 1653P #2 (piece shown here was originally offered from an eBay seller from Asia) Other sellers from other parts of the World might be offering the same piece as well.
 #FC53632 Mexico, 8 reales, 1657P #1 (piece shown here was originally offered from an eBay seller from Asia) Other sellers from other parts of the World might be offering the same piece as well.
 #FC53633 Mexico, 8 reales, 1657P #2 (piece shown here was originally offered from an eBay seller from Asia) Other sellers from other parts of the World might be offering the same piece as well.
 #FC53634 Mexico, 8 reales, 1657P #3 Note this is identical, except for the date, to 1635P and 1647/6P above, and this same planchet exists with contrived full dates 1634, 1637, 1649, 1655, 1656, and 1667
 #FC53635 Mexico, Royal 8 reales, 1646P This one has been offered several times by the same eBay  seller, keywestdivers.  it appears this coin was cast from Lázaro's specimen.  In any case, the usual red flags are there (private auction, no returns), so no one should be bidding on it anyway, but so far the bids are in the thousands of dollars--well into the range in which someone must think it is genuine. *
 #FC53636-A Mexico, 8 reales, Early-1600's Another Mexican cob 8R fake, this one actually fooled me till I saw it in person and noticed telltale tiny balls on the surface, otherwise (and especially from just a photo) it passes very easily for a nice "Rill Cove wreck" (ca. 1618) specimen with the edges corroded away
 #FC53636 Mexico, 8 reales, oMF Phillip III Another Mexican cob 8R fake. 24.8 grams. Metal is usually silver and the patina looks authentic.
 #FC53637 Mexico, 8 reales ROYAL, 1610F  
 #FC53638 Mexico, 8 reales, 1714J (Fleet) Supposed to be from the 1715 Fleet (corroded, underweight, etc.) but I have seen at least two identical specimens
 #FC53639 Mexico, 8 reales, 1715J (Fleet) Another one supposed to be from the 1715 Fleet, and seems to be a pretty good fake till you see its litter-mates (and they always seem to be mounted...)  As a further note on this one, seller 2006edgec sold this coin as genuine even though he had been told (and shown) that it was fake, so you might want to avoid his offerings in the future. Other coins has been offered as "Treasure coins" all fakes as well.
 #FC53640 Mexico, 8 reales, (1710-15) (Fleet) The only way to tell is because we had two coins alike in our hands.
 #FC53641 Mexico, 8 reales klippe, 1733MF Note:  this is a highly counterfeited type, but this particular fake is cropping up a lot these days and is identifiable by the four "plugged holes" in the corners, which are rendered simply as flat spots in the casting. Other type of 1733 fakes are also being offered on eBay ,(rectangular shape)
 #FC53642 Mexico, 8 reales klippe, 1734MF Another klippe but this one dated 1734.
 #FC53643 Mexico, 8 escudos ROYAL, 1702 This is a well known cast of a fantastic royal 8 escudos.
 #FC53644 Mexico, 2 escudos, 1713 There is also a proliferation of fake Mexican gold cobs touted as being from the 1715 fleet. 
 #FC53645 Mexico, 8 escudos, (1714-1715) There is also a proliferation of fake Mexican gold cobs touted as being from the 1715 fleet. 
 #FC53646 Mexico, Gold Cob 1715 Fleet Set There is also a proliferation of fake Mexican gold cobs touted as being from the 1715 fleet.  I have seen them offered individually, but here are some group shots (an 8-4-2-1 denomination set) from seller hobie1965, who refused to withdraw the sale even after being shown identical coins in other auctions
 #FC53646-A Mexico, 8 escudos, 1731 An old well known fake.
 #FC53647 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales Royal, 1707Y Over the past several years I have seen a particular brand of counterfeit coming out of Peru that is more fanciful than deceitful, as the designs are not like the genuine coins. This is a good example and following many more...
 #FC53648 Potosí, Bolivia, 2 reales, "Philip II, 1593"  
 #FC53649 Potosí, Bolivia, 1 real Royal, 1686VR  
 #FC53650 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, Philip IV, P-T This cob and the following two, on the other hand, are more dangerous (at least when buying from a photo) because they are cast from genuine examples
 #FC53651 Potosí, Bolivia, 4 reales, Philip II, P-B  
 #FC53652 Potosí, Bolivia, 1 real, Philip II, P-M  
 #FC53653 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1652E transitional Type III Some other Potosí fakes to watch for are copies made from some pieces recovered from a wreck that sunk in the 1650s.
 #FC53654 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1653E Note:  this particular piece comes from a seller in China)
 #FC53655 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1653E #2 Note:  this one comes from eBay  seller "komakoma", whom many of my customers have asked me to watch, yet this is the first specimen of his that I have actually examined in person to be able to condemn it
 #FC53656 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1653E #3 Note:  this one is an "official replica" made in Ecuador to commemorate the Capitana salvage
 #FC53657 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1654E "Capitana" Apparently that was not the only "casted" cob from the Capitana salvage, there are a few more examples around, including countermarked "L" pieces.
 #FC53658 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1651/2E "Capitana"  
 #FC53659 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1655E Note:  another "komakoma" offering that is likely to crop up again
 #FC53660 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales ROYAL, 1676E Sold at least twice by eBay  seller "nammibob" despite notification. (Note we lack of scan for the reverse)
 #FC53661 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1687 with countermark from Guatemala.  
 #FC53662 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1692VR  
 #FC53663 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1696VR In addition, here is a fake that should be recognizable as such by anyone but a neophyte, yet it crops up as genuine on eBay  all the time (most recently [September, 2006] by seller "vintage_comics_and_collectibles"
 #FC53664 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1696VR And a similar one, recently offered by "paulelaine2524," who had some other fake cobs for sale as well and refused to remove them.   (Note:  This seller now goes by the name of "pgar299422" on eBay .)
 #FC53665 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales ROYAL, 1704Y  
 #FC53666 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1730 A very common cast fake that has been around for decades and is now cropping up on eBay
 #FC53667 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales ROYAL, 1734E Note that this appears to be cast from a genuine coin that was offered on eBay  in late 2005, but I know that that coin was genuine because I examined it in person
 #FC53668 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales HEART, 1742C Note that the too-neat style of this coin typifies the fantasy pieces coming out of Peru in recent years
 #FC53669 Potosí, Bolivia, 8 reales, 1760q A very common cast fake that has been around for decades and is now cropping up on eBay
 #FC53670 Potosí, Bolivia, 2 reales HEART, 1786 A very common cast fake that has been around for decades and is now cropping up on eBay
 #FC53671 Santa Fe, Colombia, 8 Reales, 1652 In 2005 the Perth Mint produced a 13 piece collection of replicas, including the coin illustrated here. This is an "official" reproduction. The Perth Mint is wholly owned by the government of Western Australia and is operated by Gold Corporation which was created under an Act of Parliament
 #FC53672 Lima, Peru, 8 Reales, 1684 You will find this coin everywhere, even in some coin shows, being offered as a "fleet" cob.
 #FC53673 Lima, Peru, 8 reales, 1700H Yet another Chinese fake, this one for Lima!
 #FC53674-A Lima, Peru, 8 Reales assayer Rincon This is fantasy very well done with the right weight, bought at a market in Peru.
 #FC53674 Lima, Peru, 2 escudos 1705 This is a replica plated, made back in the late 70's, early 80's. (about half the real weight)
 #FC53675 Lima, Peru, 8 escudos 1711 This is a replica plated, made back in the late 70's, early 80's. (about half the real weight)
 #FC53676 Lima, Peru, 8 escudos 1712 This is a replica plated, made back in the late 70's, early 80's.
 #FC53677 Lima, Peru, 8 escudos 1712 This is a replica plated, made back in the late 70's, early 80's.
 #FC53678 Lima, Peru, 8 escudos 1714 This is a replica made in gold.
 #FC53679 Lima, Peru, 8 escudos, 1736N This one was sold by seller "estatedoctor" along with many other bad cobs ("private auction"--usually a red flag!) even after I notified him that they were fake.  Note also that several cast fakes of this date are known, including some copies marketed by Disney World at their Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop

One last footnote:  This page applies only to cobs, but internet buyers should be aware that there is a huge rash of fake pillar dollars (and minors) many being offered from Asia, not exclusively but in more quantities than other places, (NOTE: the fact that a piece is being sold from this part of the word DO NOT automatically implies the piece is not good, however; many sellers, unfortunately, tracked to that area offer counterfeit pieces.) In recent years we have seen fake pieces being offered from Europe and Middle East as well as some part of South America and North America.  Be VERY careful buying from anybody in that part of the world (IN GENERAL), and be especially sure to avoid any private auctions (where bidders cannot be warned by the experts) no matter from which part of the world you buy the coin from just be sure you know you are dealing with a serious and professional seller that knows the material and/or will honor any returns as well.