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Counterfeit $10 Estado de Sonora note Type 1

(This section on the counterfeit $10 notes is the result of research by Robert Perigoe. This information originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of the Journal of the U. S. Mexican Numismatic Association.)

Type 1 is patterned after Series 1, printing position 3.

Est Sonora 10 1 8219




The mountain seal is well executed and even includes diagonal shading in the sky and water. In fact, the shading is at least as finely done as on the genuine seals, if not more so. The seal exhibits none of the scratches, notches or scrapes found on the genuine articles, and may actually be considered to be superior to them. Its colour is also well matched.


The genuine small eagle seal has a colorless dot in the border, between the ‘Y’ and ‘LIBRE’


The counterfeit seal does not have the dot. Again, this seal is at least as well executed as the real ones, if not more so.


The numbering device has a small round point, instead of a rectangular dash, below the ‘o’ in ‘No’. Also, the ink color does not match the mountain seal as it normally would: here, the green ink is yellowish.

Serial number does not exceed 7500 Serial number exceed 7500


Accented ‘e’ in ‘Mexico’


The counterfeit has no accent on the ‘e’ in ‘Mexico’. In fact, the ‘e’ itself is incomplete on the counterfeit, but an extra bit of type is thrown in between the ‘e’ and ‘x’.


Est Sonora 10 count1 reverseThe back of the counterfeit is also of interest.



There are major breaks in the floral design in the lower left corner


no breaks



The upper serifs on the ‘1’ in both ‘10’s are smaller on the counterfeit.


The circular of 22 August 1914 lists the following set of indications.

background, impression, Government seal and green seal are a little erased (borrado) background, impression, Government seal and green seal are uniform
background colour is pink tending to purple background colour is pink tending to coffee
in seal, lake has less white with almost half the water on the left completely green lake has more white hues
edging has breaks at the corners and in the centre black edging is of a single piece
7500 is the highest number numbers exceed 7500
number is a green that is almost black number is in light green (verde clara) ink
abbreviation ‘No’ has a bar abbreviation ‘No’ has a point
signatures of Contador (Series 1) or Tesorero Series 2) vary in position, size and colour with some darker than others signatures are entirely uniform in position: colour is a black tending to coffee
‘e’ of ‘México’ has accent ‘e’ of ‘México’ lacks accent
on reverse, edging has breaks in the corners, and along each side green edging is a single piece
  on reverse, typeface is thicker
on reverse, head of ‘1’ forms a right angle head of ‘1’ is shorter and forms an acute angle


Similarly, the circular of 25 August 1914 list the following indications for a forgery of Series 1.

  typeface of ‘PROVISIONAL’ thicker and impression is very imperfect and blurred
left-hand ‘PROVISIONAL’ very close to edge: right-hand ‘PROVISIONAL’ almost touching ‘S’ of ‘PESOS’ left-hand ‘PROVISIONAL’ over the ‘D’ of DIEZ: right-hand ‘PROVISIONAL’ more than ¼ inch from ‘S’ of ‘PESOS’
sweep of left stroke of the ‘A’ of Lewel’s signature starts next to the stroke itself sweep of the left stroke starts over the ‘L’
in the seal, green tones predominate, with the mountains almost entirely green mountains and water have more white tones. Impression is incomplete and smudged
  white line between mountains and water narrower
7500 is highest number numbers exceed 7500
impression of number is entirely uniform and clear impression is imperfect and smeared


Both these circulars closely match this Type 1.

Because of a notice published in Baja California, on 8 May 1915 the Subprefecto Político of El Triunfo, Baja California, J. Ramos, asked whether Sonora notes of 50c, $1, $5, $10 and $20 with numbers higher than 7500, were falseABCS, Gobernación, vol. 642, exp. 150. La Paz replied by sending copies of the notices it had receivedABCS, Gobernación, vol. 642, exp. 150.