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Dominica Moco

Started by Henk, November 13, 2017, 08:01:51 PM

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I have a coin of which the specification is as follows:
15 mm, scalloped with 14 crenelles. Silver 1.91 grams.
O: Script letter "D" with two dots and star within circle of drop-like dots.
R: Blank

This is a Dominica Moco or 1½ Bitts. In Pridmore West Indies (1965) this coin is listed as number 22 and described as follows: Crenated circular segment from a dollar (8 Reales), restamped on one side with a script letter "D". A small star in the loop of the letter. Edge: 15 crenations.

The official weight is ca. 48 grains (= 3.10 grams). My specimen is with 1.91 grams, much lighter. Pridmore notes: Forgeries soon appeared. These were made by flattening a larger coin and light weight copies resulted. Many are also distinguished by the crenelles which vary from 13 to 18. These copies are described as number 22A. Pridmore also describes two later copies. One, number 40A, a continental copy of about 1910 and the other, number 40B, originating from the USA about 1960. No weights of these are given. In a further note Pridmore states that cast copies in baser metals have also been examined.

In the Hans Schulman catalog of the Gibbs collection (1966), centers cut from 4 Reales, with either 15 or 16 crenations are listed. Such specimens would weigh less than those cut from 8 Reales as 4 Reales pieces are thinner. From the diameters of Carolus IV 8 and 4 Reales from the Mexico mint as measured from the photo's in the Krause Standard Catalog of Mexican Coins (1978), 39 and 33 mm respectively, it can be calculated that segments stamped from 4 Reales should weigh about 30% less or 2.14 grams. Such pieces of course are not official. No weights are given in this Schulman catalog.

In the Glendining catalog of the Pridmore collection (1981) four pieces are listed. One considered original (15 crenellations and 3.13 grams) and three contemporary forgeries (14, 15 and 18 crenellations weighing respectively 2.02, 2.79 and 2.70 grams)

In the Glendining catalog of the Ford collection (1989) 5 pieces considered genuine are listed. These have weights from 3,11 to 2,72 grams. In addition two pieces described as contemporary forgeries are described. These weigh 1.70 and 1.63 grams.


The whole area of Caribbean cut and counterstamped pesos is so rife with contemporary and modern imitations, fantasies, counterfeits, fakes and fraudulent pieces that it has become virtually uncollectible. I would not even trust such a piece if it had been declared genuine by a renowned auction house.

Pridmore did a very good job rejecting the fluff of his days, but much more has appeared since, due to large, unsophisticated demand from the US and lax law enforcement. There are other such areas, but to my knowledge, none have sunk so deep.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Peter, you are exactly right! I do not collect these but this one was in a lot I bought for some of the other coins and tokens in it. The West Indies cut and counterstamp series however is very interesting for its monetary history/numismatic aspects. It was challenging to find out the information about this coin, unfortunately a fake, and study some of its history and auction appearances.