Counterfeits Mexico-Philip V Of Spain 8-Reals Pillar Dollar 1741.
Spain 8-Reals Pillar Dollar 1741.

This assignment was given by Lunaticg, "ordering" me to do a research on "How To Detect A Counterfeits VTRAQUE VNUM/ Pillar Dollar".

An old coin Mexico -Philip V of Spanish 8 Reals coin also known as Pillar Dollar. It depicts on one side the Pillars Of Hercules,the local Malay called it the Ringgit Meriam (Cannon Dollar) because the Pillars Of Hercules were mistaken for cannons.

Spain 8-Reals Pillar Dollar 1741.
Spain 8-Reals Pillar Dollar 1741.

This is one of a series struck 1732-47 during the reign of Philip V (1700-46). There is a rare overdate, 1741/31. The coin is otherwise common. Mexican numismatists hotly debate which side of the coin constitutes the obverse. However, auction catalogs and dealer listings more frequently use the pillars and globes side as the obverse, as that side bears the date.

Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: 27.07 grams, .917 fine silver, .798 troy oz ASW.

The  Counterfeits VTRAQUE VNUM/ Pillar Dollar

Spain 8-Reals Pillar Dollar 1741.
Spain 8-Reals Pillar Dollar 1741.

Outwardly this coin looks like a real pillar dollar. Probably it made from alloyed of metals, which contained silver. It rings like silver. Its details are not sharp, the surface is full of tiny sand holes,porous.
It suppose to have a delicate yellow patina, which usually is generated on low-silver alloys, but became silvery bright after cleaned.

I have recognized it is a fake Pillar Dollar, when I  felt its weight, it was significantly lighter (19.01gm). Next, I saw that its edge differs from common reales floral edges or  the Laurel Leaf Design edge. Its edge was like the edge of  Malaysia milled edge coins. You can see on the picture that the rim of the coin is higher than the surface/fields. That suggests that the edge was made later then/after the surface was minted.

Spain 8-Reals Pillar Dollar 1741.

Spain 8-Reals Pillar Dollar 1741.


  1. There are a lot of ways through we can detect countries pillar dollar.

  2. TQ...just as i Lunaticg's blog about the Stupid Collector's RM16mil VTRAQUE...moment i see...know is probably counterfeit...because...
    It is round is it like machined struck...
    in 1700s coins struck is not that round...
    I think the collector kena tipu

  3. Hi Challenge Coins,
    Welcome to drop by.Yes,totally agreed with you, they are more ways to detect a counterfeits,but we try the easiest ways first.

  4. Hi Anonymous,
    The collector being innocent but the reporter should be more virgilant and careful in his/her reports.

  5. Hello,

    the edge of the coin is called Laurel Leaf Design.

    I have in 2007 posted two posts about Spanish 8 Reales, and despite having more information and too busy to update my blog, the information is just kept in my report book.

    It came to my attention, that can you always consider few factors when it comes to 8 Reales.

    1. The weight: This type of the coin were one of the first with standard weight through-out, hence it became standard.
    2. Be familiar with silver. The color, corrosion and wear.
    3. The year, the mint mark, the mint, the bust and the ruler must conform with each other.

    Later, you can use "factor elimination" which I always use "feeling", each metal has its own feeling when you and touch them, especially silver. Then i would come to weight and specific gravity test. I would also strongly suggest to check the details on the coin, normally the fake one despite their attempts would show many flaws!

    Specific Gravity Test

    Good luck...

    Kindest Regards,

    PS: Currently I have moved to to post information about coins and banknotes, which with more standardised format.

    Example of my posting for banknote:

    Example of my posting for coin:

  6. Hi Aleph Prime,
    Happy Sunday and Happy Niewmismatics !
    Thank you very much for dropping by,more thanks to your
    important infos on better ways how to detect counterfeit coins.
    Will use your actual term of "Laurel Leaf Design" in my Blog.Thank you in advance.
    Will also try to use your method of "specific gravity" test.
    I love the term ""factor elimination" or so call "feeling", I totally agreed with this "instinct" !
    Hope to receive more good comments from your.

  7. Looking very nice coins, i love coins, i have a huge coins collection.i have different types of coins.i am crazy in coins collection. i love your blog too. really a great effort for coins collection

  8. Hello,

    I have published the article along with the calculator which you can just put on the value...

    It may not be accurate, but in a way should be one of the "cancellation method" to prove if a coin should be in the range as it should be.

    Further reading at:
    Measuring Coin's Density Through Specific Gravity Test


  9. Hi Halim Shahirasul,
    Selamat Hari Raya.So glad you are kind enough to share your way of "cancellation method" to prove if a coin should be in the range as it should be.
    I shall try it!
    Happy Holiday!

  10. wao these are precious coins. i love to collect coins

  11. Replies
    1. Hi Tengkurizan (Shahizan Shahizan)
      Tqvm! Welcome your good comments to better my Blog! Do hope you drop by always. I will be in Singapore attending The International Coin Fairs (28--30/3/2014). Or at Collectors Auction Asia Auction 2014/3 Singapore on 19-4-2014. Hope to meet you!

    2. My pleasure and I look forward very much in meeting you at the Coin Fair in March. Thank you.