Characteristics of counterfeit Gobierno Provisional de México notes, Veracruz, 25 September 1915 (English version)
An official statement, given out for the currency bureau of the department of hacienda in Veracruz describes the classes of counterfeit notes in circulation, which have come to the notice of the bureau, so that the public may identify and refuse to receive them. The following statement, issued by the bureau of currency, was taken from El Pueblo and El Dictamen, newspapers published in Veracruz.
Three forgeries of bills of one hundred pesos denomination have been discovered, two of them belonging to the Mexican emission, dated September 28, 1914, and one forgery of the Veracruz issue on bluish paper.
In all three counterfeits it can be noticed that the printing is lithographic work and not from a steel plate, as made by the government.
First Forgery of the $100 Notes of the Gobierno Provisional de Mexico.
In the first forgery, the following characteristics can be observed:
On the front:
I. – In the border of the notes, the small drawings of the longitudinal margins and countersigns of the corners are smaller and are imperceptible at first sight, but they can readily be detected if careful attention is given them.
II. - The length of the border is one millimeter less than the original, measured from corner to corner of the drawing.
III.- The heading “Gobierno Provisional de Mexico,” although well imitated, offers discrepancies, the most notable being the O’s which are wider and rounder at their extremities, besides other minor differences in the letters E, L, V, R. In general it can be seen that all the edges of the letters of this title are thicker in the spurious notes.
IV. – The background on which the title is printed and which is made by the horizontal and parallel lines, is less clear and fine, which makes it appear f a lighter shade than that of the good notes.
V. – The figure symbolizing the nation has a different face, and the creases of the draperies are not so well defined as in the legal note.
VI. – In the central landscape the volcanoes show the tops well designed, each crater top forming a single point. The foliage growing on the lake is coarse and more than foliage presents the appearance of a cluster of grapes. The horizon does not show the same clouds, and finally the water of the lake is not finely engraved in all its extension, but has different shades under the nopal plant and the foliage on the side.
VII. – The sign of $ that is twined with the cipher 100 (one hundred) is over lined; and the small figures inside of the cipher are smaller and more strongly engraved than in the original note.
VIII. – The fine line decoration that surrounds the same cipher is clearly different, principally in the lower and upper parts, and which generally touch the folio and number of the note.
IX. – The “Serie F” is printed in a different position.
X. – The title placed before the signature of the acting secretary of hacienda has the letters S. S. instead of O. M.
XI. – The facsimile of the signature of “C. M. Esquerro” differs a great deal in the capitals C and E, which are larger and rounder than the authentic ones.
XII. – The type of the letters of the date “Mexico, September 23 de 1914” has been printed with used type, for which reason the sentence appears heavy and black.
On the reverse:
I. - The general aspect of the printing can readily be seen that it comes from lithographic work instead of from a direct steel plate engraving.
II. - The facsimile of the Mexican peso coin shows differences in the letters, which are one or two lines smaller. The eagle is not of the same design, neither in the head nor at the ends of the wings, and the Liberty cap is of a different outline, showing a distinct inclination towards the left.
III. – The reseal of the secretaria de hacienda, instead of being a perfect oval is entirely round, and does not show such pronounced relief as in the legal note.
Second Forgery of $100 Note.
The second forgery comes from the same source described above, and it can be seen that the counterfeiters endeavored to correct the deficiencies of the first forgery.
Therefore, the second emission is the same as the former one, with the exception that the title before the signature was corrected, this notes having the letters O. M. as well as the date which was corrected to read September 12, 1914, instead of September 19, as in the previous issue.
Third Forgery of $100 Note.
The third forgery is entirely the same as the previous one, but this time the counterfeiters tried to imitate the bills printed by the government at Veracruz on blue paper, and the counterfeit notes are printed on paper of that color but of lighter weight and inferior quality, the differences of the title before the signature, date and reseal of the hacienda department having been corrected, in order to obtain a better imitation of the Veracruz paper money.
Five forgeries of the paper money issued in Mexico on October 20, 1914 of this denomination, have been made.
Characteristics of the first forgery of the $50 notes of the Gobierno Provisional de Mexico.
On the front:
I. - The figure symbolizing the nation has a different profile of the head and face: the small dots with which the face and dress have been imitated, are entirely different.
II. The lettering “Constitucion” and “Mexico” printed on the shield on which the right hand of the figure rests, are larger, as well as the lettering that says “La Tesoreria recibirá y Pagará.” etc., and that of the title before the signature.
III. The large countersign inside of the cipher “50” is pretty well imitated, but it has not been made according to the official geometric design, and especially, the sign of $ is a great deal thicker and differently ruled.
IV. The superior fringe of the border, formed by a succession of undulating countersigns does not exactly represent the contour of the three undulations.
V. The aspect of the sky on the vignette has a different shading in the outline and coloring, as well as in the groups of clouds; the eagle has a rounder head, more like that of a parrot, and the cut of the wings is different in all their contour; the group of foliage that appear on the lake are different in design and dimension.
VI. The lettering of the “Serie E” is different and printed in another place.
VII. The light blue background is of a rougher design of undulated intercrossed lines, and is lifographed and not printed from a cut.
On the reverse:
I. The reseal of the secretaria de hacienda is not raised, as it comes when printed at the stamp office of the government from the steel die used, but is printed with a cut made from a photoengraving, and therefore shows no signs of being in relief.
II. The countersigns in its complicated design are not clearly defined in all their lines, neither are they printed from a direct cut, but from a photo-engraving.
III. In the front and reverse replicas of the Mexican one peso coin, the visible part of the front only says “República Mexicana,” and the letters are of a wider type; and instead of the eagle’s head and part of the wings showing at the top, only something like an entanglement of worms can be seen. The cap shows no indication of the word “Libertad.” The rays imitating a radiance of the cap are wider and not as shaded.
IV. The paper, although similar to that used in the legal notes, is not of the same quality.
Second Forgery of $50 Note.
Is exactly the same as the previous one and it can readily be seen that it was made by the same persons, as all the details of the figure, landscape, etc., are the same.
The only items that have been corrected in this issue are those of the longitudinal undulations of the upper part of the fringe of the border; the sign of $ entwined in the cipher “50” is thinner, thereby more faithfully imitating the legal notes.
Third Forgery of $50 Note.
This fraudulent emission comes from the same house that forged the $100 notes. This is evident from examining the likeness of the figure, letters, paper and printing work.
To detect the forged notes belonging to this last issue, it is only necessary to read the above details, only adding that the engraving of the Mexican one peso coin on the reverse is very poorly done being whiter and hardly showing any details.
Fourth Forgery of $50 Note.
This is the roughest counterfeit. It has been done by means of a photo-engravure but so badly made that it is apparent at first sight. The drawings are grotesque and imperfect, the lines do not extend as much as they should and the shading and background are not well done. Furthermore, the bad quality of the paper, the false reseal which is not raised, and the poor ink used make the counterfeit evident to the most ignorant person.
Fifth Forgery of the $50 Note.
A fifth and last counterfeit has been discovered, which also been printed from a photo-engraving. However, it is better executed, although the forgery can be detected at first sight by following the instructions mentioned above. The quality of the paper used in this emission is not as poor as the former one, but it is not of line manufacture, and it can also be seen that the ink and presswork have been of poor quality.
Three counterfeits of the Veracruz emission have been discovered.
On the front:
Thick and dark cotton paper.
The date says: “Veracruz. DICIEMERE 1o. de 1914.”
The figure symbolizing the nation has some small horizontal lines very imperfectly done at the side of the cloak that hangs from the extended left arm, near the exterior side, while on the legitimate notes the background at this place appears entirely clear, and the border of the cloak perfectly outlined.
Other horizontal lines also break the center of the oval containing the landscape, penetrating in an angular form the Ixtaccihuatl volcano and into the lake.
The aspect of the sky is muddy, the most notable item being the absence of the two small clouds that look like two white points directly under the word Veracruz, and the small dark cloud that should be on the edge of the oval under the date “1o.”, as well as the circumstance that the lines of the sky join the wings of the eagle without leaving the small space that the legal notes show on the edge of the wings.
The Popocatepetl volcano is smaller and more pointed.
The number two of the “20” which corresponds to the inferior left hand corner has the interior circle of the head in white.
The upper right hand corner of the countersign “20” pesos does not have the three clear undulations nor the perfect crossing of the curved white lines, which show up very fine and clear in the legitimate bills.
The large rosette countersign which encircles the large “20” does not show up distinctly the sixteen rays of the star, which are beneath said number.
Also, the 2 of the same number has a blank space under the turn of the head where it twines around the sign of $.
The background is confused and indistinct without showing any drawing.
On the reverse:
At all four corners, under the word ‘pesos’ are several blank spaces between the bases of the number two and zero, and those spaces or segments are not separated equally, nor perfectly regular.
The liberty cap on the reverse side of the Mexican one peso coins is a great deal smaller and the word “Libertad” is indicated with signs that do not form well defined letters, besides being of larger strokes.
The red seal of the secretaria de hacienda, Veracruz, is very rough and the undulations on the edge are unequal and imperfect, as well as the concentric circles made by white lines which are wide and close suddenly.
Second Forgery of $20 Note.
The size of the drawing is about two millimeters larger than that of the original design.
The number two of the cipher “20”, on the upper left hand corner, has a dark shade on the thin turn towards the left side, below the word “pesos,” between the P and the E.
The border that encloses the title “Gobierno Provisional de Mexico” ends with parallel curves to the letters G and O, first and last of the title, and the exterior profile of the curve is not cut as at the side of the O. Instead of the title preceding the signature saying “O. M. Encargado de Secretaria de Hacienda,” it says: “El D. M. Encargado de la Secretaria de Hacienda.”
The letters of the title preceding the signature are larger.
The background is so confused that the drawing cannot be made out.
On the reverse
The shading of the letters “Este billete circular,” etc., are not made with vertical lines which form in the background of the horizontal lines a close quadricle, but are simply shading made without lines, with full ink, which makes them stand out blacker. The shading of the Mexican one peso coin is made by imperfect diagonal lines which gives it the aspect of tin.
The borders of the peso coin where it is shown on the front side are very wide, especially under the letters REPUB, and on the reverse below the numbers 1908 the border can be plainly seen formed with three lines, and not with two as in the legal notes.
Third Forgery of $20 Note.
The imitation of the engraving is nearly perfect.
Linen paper, but of a lighter quality.
On the front:
The length of the design is two millimeters less than in the original drawing. The background is printed in such a manner that it can hardly be noticed that it differs from that of the drawing. This is the most notable detail, as stated, the design is nearly perfect and only an expert can tell the very imperceptible discrepancies.
The numeration is printed in a purplish color instead of in red ink.
The color of the drawing is a little lighter and pink and the four countersigns with the figures “20” on the four corners are more widely separated from the general drawing.
The seal of the department of hacienda is discolored and the concentric circles are too equidistant and are thicker.
There are three forgeries of the Veracruz emission.
Characteristics of the first forgery.
On the front:
Thick and dark cotton paper.
The print is heavy and rough, which shows that it is was made from a photo-engravure, being more evident in the central landscape where the appearance of the sky is heavy and with short lines, the eagle is very black and the shades of the lake are overdark.
The clouds are above the Ixtaccihuatl volcano are larger and white, and the ones that are above the Popocatepetl volcano have been retouched and can hardly be distinguished.
The nopal that touches the tail of the serpent is a small black dot.
The foliage of the lake is badly drawn and nearly black.
The snow peaks are round and imperfect.
The ornament that is above the upper numeration below the word Mexico is very rough and poorly drawn, and does not join the line below the C in said word.
The date, titles preceding the signatures and series are printed in a thicker type.
The background is of a light sienna color and of a different design.
The numeration is of a dirty red color.
The four countersigns with the ciphers 10 are too widely separated from the contour of the central design.
The facsimile of the Mexican one peso coin is very poorly engraved and the diagonal lines that shade it are uneven and ragged.
No trace of the word “Libertad” is to be found on the cap, and the form of the cap is different in contour, wrinkles and shading.
The rays of the cap are retouched and poorly shaded.
The seal of the secretaria de hacienda is printed with thinner letters and the concentric circles of white lines are more open and uneven.
Second Forgery of $10 Note.
On the front:
The size of the drawing is two millimeters longer than the original drawing.
It has been printed from a photo-engraving which presents a light aspect in general, but more so in the central landscape, the lines and dots of the sky, mountains and water are short and weak.
The ornament that is near the G in the word Gobierno is joined to the line of the strip containing the legend Gobierno Provisional de Mexico.
The date reads Diciemere.
The background is of a different design and is heavily printed with sienna ink.
The ink of the numeration is of a dirty, dark red color.
The countersign of the number 10 of the superior left corner is too far away from the contour of the central drawing.
The one peso coin reproduction is retouched, especially along the rays of the cap.
The cap is of a different contour and rounder at the top.
Third Forgery of $10 Note.
On the front:
Thick cotton paper.
The reproduction of the photoengraving is very rough and it can clearly be seen that it is a copy of the matrix of ten pesos which was altered at the printing office, making the number 10 which is twined with two signs of $, smaller, as well as the 10 in the upper right hand corner of the border.
The print is so rough and dirty that it can easily be detected at first sight as a counterfeit, as the figure symbolizing the nation and the central landscape are thick with ink and all the points and lines short and ragged.
The title preceding the signature “El O. M. Encargado de la Secretaria de Hacienda” says “El C. M. Encargado de la Secretaria de Hacienda”.
The ornament that is over the right hand numeration and under the word Mexico is incomplete and of a different design owing to having been retouched.
The background is of a different design and contour, as it does not come down to the face of the figure, as in the legal notes, and is printed in sepia.
The length of the central drawing, measured from point to pint, is seven millimeters shorter, and therefore the four numbers 10 of the corners are too distant.
The photo-engraving is very poor and all the lines are short and blurred.
The seal of the Secretaria de Hacienda is very badly done: all the small undulations of the contours are uneven and crocked.
The three small lines that are within said undulations are small and of a different design, and the letters and concentric circles are wider, more so in the center.
A counterfeit issue of the Veracruz emission has been discovered, the characteristics of which are the following:
On the front:
The opposite countersigns on the corners bearing the large cipher 5 show the profile line of the oval as much thicker and heavy. Of said countersigns it can be noticed that the one placed at the upper left hand corner has at the top of the cipher 5 a white point and in the lower right hand corner the said black point is a great deal larger. The lettering of the date Veracruz Diciembre 1o. de 1914 is very irregular and so poorly made that the “4” looks like “1”.
The lines at the background of the landscape directly behind the eagle’s head is very marked and engraved with heavy or ruled lines.
The ornament that is under the word Mexico does not touch the strip that encloses the title, directly under the letter C.
Inside of the upper border at the side of the small countersign 5, upper right hand corner, there is a notable difference in the star that is at the side of the corner, as said star is separated, or rather less hidden by the corner rosette.
At the opposite superior corner it can be noticed that the ornament that is between the large 5 and the word Gobierno is wider and separate from the oval of the 5.
The light green background is very weak, to conceal the difference between it and the background of the legal note.
The green color is darker and the engraving is rougher and heavier.
In the facsimile of the Mexican one peso coin, a great contrast is to be found in the color of the wings of the eagle and that of the cap and the rays and the lines of the shading are uneven and hard.
The seal of the secretaria de hacienda is thicker and the center of the circle is larger and points being uneven.
Finally, a counterfeit issue of notes of two peso denomination has been discovered in Mexico, but due to the imperfect and rough manner in which it has been done, no description is necessary as they are detected as spurious at first sight.
H. Veracruz, September 25, 1915.