Varieties on provisional Estado de Sonora notes

The Estado de Sonora notes were printed in four different series. Each note was made from five different impressions, three on the front and two on the back, except for the 25c and 50c which had an extra countermark that required an additional plate. Certain differences can be discerned within various plates, though the matter is complicated by the subsequent forgeries.

First series 25c and 50c notes had an inner frame of 118 or 116mm x 50mm size, whilst the later series had frames of 123mm x 55mm, with the type more spaced and a different pattern in the background, presumably to make space for the extra lettering of the series.

Robert D. Perigoe has identified the following different types of lettering for the abbreviation ‘No.’, ‘eagle’ seals, ‘hand’ seals and ‘mountain’ seals on genuine notes.

Varieties of typefaces for ‘No.’

Type 1 Thin Block  estno1 Diagonal of ‘N’ meets right upright about one third from the bottom. (When inking on Thin Block is heavy it can appear like Thick Block.)
Type 2 Thick Block  estno2 Diagonal of ‘N’ meets right upright about half way from the bottom. (When inking on Thick Block is light it can appear like Thin Block.)
Type 3 Broken Thick Block  

Colourless portion in diagonal of ‘N’
Left upright of ‘N’ is lower than right one

Type 4 Fancy  estno4

Curved ends on uprights of ‘N’
Diagonal and right upright of "N" do not meet at a sharp point

Type 5 Broken Fancy  

Diagonal of ‘N’ is thick but appears thin because of colourless portion
Diagonal and right upright of ‘N’ appear to meet at a sharp point

Thin Block, Thick Block and Fancy lettering are found on the all denominations whilst Broken Thick Block and Broken Fancy letting are found on 25c and 50c notes.

Varieties of genuine ‘hand’ seals

Type 1   ‘LIBERTAD’ on Liberty Cap resembles ‘####TAD’
Below hand, left stalk has two rectangular shading marks of roughly equal size
Below hand, right stalk has almost no shading
Rightmost ear of corn in middle group is thick and colourless on underside
Type 2 Hand2  ‘LIBERTAD’ on Liberty Cap resembles ‘LIDENTAL’
Slight dent in outer edge at 11 o'clock
Slight notch in outer edge between 5 and 6 o'clock
Ear of corn to left of hand is thick, straight and colourless on upper side
Type 3  Hand3 ‘LIBERTAD’ on Liberty Cap resembles ‘LIGEGTA’
Prominent notch in outer edge between 12 and 1 o'clock
Ear of corn to left of hand is thick and solid
Type 4  Hand4 ‘LIBERTAD’ on Liberty Cap resembles ‘1196D##’
Two thicker diagonal lines from bottom of upper corn ears to left of Liberty Cap
Two more from bottom of major ray left of hand to middle of next ray
Type 5   LIBERTAD’ on Liberty Cap resembles ‘UGTATH’
Ear of corn is colourless on upper side not lower side

‘Varieties of genuine ‘mountain’ seals

Type 1 Mount1  Thick ray leading from bottom left of Liberty Cap and pointing to left mountain
Two long parallel reflections in bottom of lake at 6 o'clock
Type 2  Mount2 Coloured spots in the two large rays to the right of vertical
Large reflection one third down, centre-left in lake
Middle mark on Liberty Cap is circular, joined to right dash shaped mark
Type 3 Mount3  Enclosed colourless circle near outer edge at 7 o'clock
Scraped diagonal lines one third down, central right in lake
Diagonal lines on lower right of right mountain
Left and middle marks on Liberty Cap are almost rectangular and at same level
Type 4  Mount4 Circular notch at outer edge at 7 o'clock
Two other colourless spots in line with this notch to the right and downward
Colourless spot or spots in horizontal lines above shoreline
Type 5  Mount5 Circular notch or enclosed colourless circle between 6 and 7 o'clock
No horizontal line at right above shoreline

Varieties of genuine ‘eagle’ seals

Type A   Large size: 38.5mm.
Normal ‘C’ in ‘MEXICANA’
Type B SealB  Large size: 38.5mm.
Broken ‘C’ in ‘MEXICANA’
Type C   Smaller size: 35.5mm.
Colourless spot in inner border between ‘LIBRE’ and ‘Y’
Break in outer border by left star
Break in inner and outer borders between ‘R’ and ‘N’ of ‘GOBIERNO’
Broken ‘C’ in ‘MEXICANA’
Type D   Smaller size: 35.5mm.
No spot or other breaks in borders
Broken ‘C’ in ‘MEXICANA’

Other varieties

Broken ‘J’


Various of the $5 notes are known with a variety, a broken ‘J’ in ‘Juan Sánchez Azcona’. They are:

Value Series 'No' type Seal type Eagle seal Type  
$5 2 1 Thin Block Mountain 5 A Solid C 38
$5 2 2 Thick Block Mountain 2 B Broken C 38
$5 2 4 Fancy Mountain 4 C Spot 35
$5 3 4 Fancy Mountain 1 A Solid C 38
$5 4 4 Fancy Mountain 1 A Solid C 38

There are, in turn, counterfeits of some of these varieties.

No dot after ‘IMP’

The $10 Series 2, Series 3 and Series 4 with Fancy 'No' Type 4 [Eagle seal ] have no dot after 'IMP' in the imprint. These suggests that [ ]


Varieties of leaf design on reverse

On the reverse of the $10 notes there are two recurrent varieties where either the lower or both the leaf designs in the left-hand corners have broken outlines. These were probably the result of a gradual deterioration in the plate and are known on all the series with ‘mountain’ seal Type 5 and the smaller ‘eagle’ seal.

10 complete leaves   10 lower leaf incomplete 10 both leaves incomplete
  Series 1 Thick Block Eagle seal C Series 3 Thin Block Eagle seal C
  Series 2 Thin Block Eagle seal C Series 4 Thin Block Eagle seal C
  Series 4 Thin Block Eagle seal C  

Typographical errors

Est Sonora 10 2 0134

There are two typographical errors: ‘PROVSIONAL’ found on the $10 Series 2 Fancy ‘No’ Type 4 Eagle seal A

Est Sonora 10 2 0299

and ‘PROVISIIONAL’ found on the $10 Series 2 Thin Block ‘No’ Type 1 Eagle seal C.