My collecting began from purchasing faked coin. Probably, the suspicions about authenticity of 1741's '"pieces of eight" directed my mind to the historical aspects of my love to money and esthetics. Before, I continually, as a normal boy and then as a normal man, have collected anything: stamps, lighters, signs, and. of course, coins from worldwide. The USSR was a closed country, and every foreign coin was a little window to outside. Now I have about 100 such coins with general cost of about $20.
In 2002 I have been in China, in city of Xi'An, the ancient capital of Chinese dynasties. I saw many Chinese coins, which at once have seemed to me faked. I was unjust, because real ancient Chinese coins always look as faked. And conversely.
Because of it, when I found a shining white coin among bronze, I was agitated. I had a short bargaining and got this coin into hands for only 100 RMB or 350 RUB or $13.
Afterwards I wrote a detective novel using the image of my first "pieces of eight". The novel was praised, and I decided to enhance my knowledge on 8 reales.
The best way to get to know coins is to get them in hands. When I bought another 8 reales, I have immediately understood - I bought a fake in Xi'An.
Outwardly the coin looks like a real pillar dollar. Probably it made from alloy, which contained silver. It rings like silver. Its details are sharp, the surface is plain. When I was buying, it had a delicate yellow patina, which usually is generated on low-silver alloys. I cleaned it, and it became silverly bright.
I have recognized a fake, when I have felt its weight. My coin was significantly more light. Next, I saw that its edge differs from common reales edges. My edge was like the edge of contemporary Russian 5 rubles.
You can see on picture that the edge of the coin is more high than the surface. That suggests that the edge was made later than the surface was minted.
Now I care of both my fakes (see my guide on 1760's reales). I decided to collect fakes too. I found another collector of the South America coins, who love fakes, like me. We will describe them and publish a small book about fakes. For you! If you have fakes, please, don't resell them! Send me descriptions and scans and we will fight against fraud together.