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Lot
5010

1817 1/2 RL New Spain (Texas) Jola Half Real -- Environmental Damage -- Genuine PCGS. VF Details....

2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia #1173

 
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Auction Ended On: Aug 3, 2012
Item Activity: 9 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
1,986 page views
Location: Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Description:
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1817 New Spain (Texas) Jola, VF Details
R. GARZA Dies
The First Public Offering
A Second Specimen
1817 1/2 RL New Spain (Texas) Jola Half Real -- Environmental Damage -- Genuine PCGS. VF Details. The familiar 1818-dated New Spain jolas have the initials JAG above, the date below, and the denomination expressed as 1/2, appearing horizontally due to space considerations. The 1818 pieces are known on small (17 mm.) and large (19 mm.) planchets. The basic layout of the 1818 pieces, with the coiner identified above, the denomination at the center, and the date below, is an important consideration towards authentication of the 1817 pieces. A notice of the 1817 issue survives in the Bexar archives, specifying that each half real coin would contain the name and surname of the issuer.
Several varieties of the 1817 pieces exist. One piece is known with the inscription M. BARRERA above, 1/2 vertically, and a three digit date, 817. The reverse has a multi-pointed motif. That piece clearly follows the written notice of those pieces. Another variety shows the initials MB, 1/2 oriented horizontally, and the date, 1817 below, and is identical to the layout of the 1818 JAG pieces, including the lone star motif on the reverse. A third variety has the name R. GARZA above, 1/2 oriented vertically, and a three digit date, 817. A fourth variety, as offered in both lots in the present sale, have R. GARZA above, 1/2 oriented vertically, and 1817 below. These pieces have the same multi-pointed reverse motif seen on the M. BARRERA jola. The similarity in these varieties suggests closely related issues.
In addition to the stylistic similarities, an extensive physical study of 1817 and 1818 jolas was conducted in August 2011 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science by Dr. Garth Clark of Katy, Texas, working closely with James Bevill. His analysis utilized non-destructive mass spectrometry, including six 1817 jolas and five 1818 pieces. All five of the 1818 pieces were from the San Antonia River hoard of approximately 60 JAG half real coins.
The data presented in the Clark authentication study shows that all of the 1817 and 1818 pieces are closely related. Clark writes:

"The conversion of ore into a finished planchet has changed over the millennia. For purposes of simplification these steps in copper metallurgy can be divided into ancient, liquation, sulphatization, and electrolytic processes. With each advance in technology, the initial ore signature gets weaker as the ore is more efficiently processed. Newer electrolytic processes result in a final copper of such purity that only isotopic signatures can yield any clues. However, for copper refined from older processes, especially ancient and liquation processes, there is usually enough of a signature to group coins as to ore origin and refining techniques."


Dr. Clark presents a detailed analysis that yields several important conclusions. He writes that "all of the coins in the group of jolas (1817 and 1818) which were tested have a common ore origin and a common refining process." His conclusions point to the unquestioned authenticity of these pieces:

"1. There was no brass or bronze used in making the jolas. The coins were made from refined ore and were not made from a secondary copper or brass product.
"2. Molybdenum can be used as a surrogate isotopic signature and groups these coins as belonging to the same isotopic copper origin.
"3. Each of the jola coins was made from a copper ore with lead, nickel, iron, and silver impurities or copper refined using a process that incorporated lead. This marks the copper alloy being used as pre 1869 (copper electrolytic processing) and pre 1833 (Pattinson process), or in the liquation/fire refining era.
"4. Using absolute and relative ratios of the non-copper metals present, the jolas can all be grouped into two to four overlapping groups and are all related by composition."


This specimen has been conserved to bring out considerable detail that was obscured by its original patina. Both sides show deep orange copper color with ebony patina in places, with a small green spot on the reverse. The two 1817 half real jolas offered here are from the same R. GARZA dies. They are closely related to the 1817 Barrera pieces, and also closely related to the 1818 de la Garza jolas.

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