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10c notes of the Estado de Sonora

(This section is the result of research by Robert Perigoe. The information originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of the Journal of the U. S. Mexican Numismatic Association).

Est Sonora 10c 48054

Est Sonora 10c 48054 reverse

This study group included 24 examples, but only seven are actual notes, while 17 are reproductions, and another group of seven is from the same run and print position.

This issue marked the final appearance of the mountain seals that had previously been utilized on the pesos series. I am once again presenting examples of the five different seals as they appeared in the contemporary revenue stamps. The printing on the revenue stamps is complicated by obscuring black printing of words and borders, and somewhat further by intruding coloured backgrounds which can be easily ignored. The good news in the illustration is that the printing of the seals on the stamps is much clearer than on the currency.


The distinguishing features of the five types follow (the illustrations are all from the one peso notes).

Type 1 Mountain seal Type 1

Thick ray leading from the bottom of the Liberty Cap and pointing to the leftmost mountain
Two long parallel ripples at the bottom of the water at 6 o’clock.

Type 2 Mountain seal Type 2 Spots in the two large rays to the right of the vertical ray at the centre
Long ripple one third of the way down and centre-left in the water
The middle mark on the Liberty Cap is circular and joined to the dash-shaped mark at the right.
Type 3 Mountain3 An enclosed colourless circle in the water near the outer edge at 7 o’clock
Diagonal scratches in the water, one third of the way down and central right
Diagonal lines on the lower right of the rightmost mountain
On the Liberty Cap, the left and middle marks are almost rectangular and at the same level.
Type 4 Mountain4 A circular notch in the water at the outer edge at 7 o’clock
Two other colourless spots in line with this notch to the right and downward
At least one colourless spot in the horizontal lines above the shoreline.
Type 5 Mountain5 A circular notch in the outer edge, or an enclosed colourless circle by the outer edge, of the water between 6 and 7 o’clock
A vertical scratch from 1:30 towards 5:00
(The dark spot circled in the illustration is not part of the seal, but a stray spot from the black printing.)


In this issue, Seal type 1 appears in Position A (Top), Seal type 5 in Position B (Upper Middle), Seal type 2 in Position C (Lower Middle), and Seal type 4 in Position D (Bottom). The sample is consistent with an initial setting of 25 print runs of 100 sheets, followed by a second setting of 20 runs of 500 sheets.

Print Positions

There are several other ways to identify the four positions, and if remainders or replacement notes are ever encountered, they are the only choice.

The Randall signature is positioned differently relative to the corner on each position, in the same print positions as occurred in the five centavos notes, and the differentiation is not repeated here.

The kind of X and circle background printing encountered on the reverse of the five centavos note is found on both sides of this note. In fact, the reverse of the ten centavos note has the same characteristics as the reverse of the five centavos, and the print position can be determined in the same way. Only the ink colour is different.

The front of the ten centavos provides additional positional identification clues. Once again, all X and circles are type B unless indicated below. I will consider each front position in turn, starting with the bottom, so I can save the best until last.

 10cposD    10cposC1    10cposC2
Illustration of 10c bottom
front position cross type R
  Illustration of 10c lower
middle position cross type R
  Illustration of 10c upper
middle position cross type R


On the front of Position D, cross type R can be found in the sixth row down and fifth column from the left, if the mountain seal allows it to be seen. On the front of Position C, cross type R appears in the sixth row from the top and sixth column from the right. On the front of Position C, cross type R can be found in the third row from the top, at the far right.


Position A displays no cross aberrations on its back, but who wants to check to see if that is so? On the front, on the other hand, the top row is a typesetter’s dream, using three of the four types of background crosses (missing type L).

Identified types are highlighted with green dots in the illustration below. They are very difficult to identify at the left of the note. On the right, partially obscured by the large number 10, there are four of the routine type B crosses. But peeking over the large Sonora there are six of the type T crosses. Perhaps the design elements were spilled and then inserted randomly. This may appear to be bizarre, but it pales in comparison to the machinations that followed in many stamp issues and those who study them. This is one reason I moved into the currency collecting arena.

In summary, the four positions can be distinguished thus:

Position Mountain
Randall Signature Type B Background
crosses on front
Type B Background
crosses on reverse
A 2 Easily clears both frames Top row is
No exception
B 5 Almost touches both frames One exception, 3rd row from top, at the far right is Type R One exception, 3rd row from top, 2nd from right is Type L
C 2 Almost touches right frame One exception, 6th row from top, 6th from right is Type R One exception, top row, 2nd from left is Type R
D 4 Almost touches bottom frame One exception, 6th row from top, 5th from left is Type R One exception, bottom row, 7th from right is Type R