Un Real. Genuine
Typographed, in black, on medium, rather coarsely-wove, deep yellow-green paper.
The four lines forming the frame do not touch each other, but leave wide gaps at the corners. A straight-edge, laid along the top edge of the book in the shield, would cut centrally through the C of CORREOS. There are nineteen horizontal lines in the left top compartment of the shield; eighteen vertical lines in the right top compartment; about seventeen vertical lines in the left bottom compartment; and eighteen horizontal lines in the right bottom compartment. All these lines are thin, and regularly drawn; though some of them are difficult to make out. The easiest test is the cap of Liberty, in front of the book; the top of the cap curls over to the left. The pole on which the cap is supported evidently goes inside the cap, and too much to the right of the center. The arms of the little cross, above the book, are extremely short, in comparison with the long stem. Below the pole and cap of Liberty there is an indescribable, mossy-looking thing, which hides from view the center of the triangular space, between the flags and the bottom edge of the book; so that the large triangle is broken into two unequal ones, and the vertical lines cannot be counted all the way across. Below the right-hand flag are to be seen plainly the butt of the left-hand flag-staff, and the handle of a sword. Below the left-hand flag are visible the butt of the right-hand flag-staff, and the stock of a musket. A semi-circular line arches above the book, cross, etc., and, just above the cross, there is a very tiny, semicircular excrescence on the large semicircle; i.e., the large arched line has an extremely small arch upon it, just above the cross; not central, but placed a shade too far to the right.
Medio Real, Un Real. Forged
Lithographed; the MEDIO REAL on tolerably bright rose, the UN REAL on pale, yellowish-green wove paper, very stout and hard, with a rough, dull surface; though the paper of the genuine is rather shiny. The four lines, forming the frame, are joined at all four corners, making a complete square. A straight-edge, laid along the top edge of the book, would cut centrally through the first 0 of CORREOS, in both values. The lines in the shield are as follows: Left top compartment, seventeen horizontal lines; right top compartment, twelve vertical lines; left bottom compartment, thirteen vertical lines; right bottom compartment, thirteen horizontal lines. I have not reckoned the boundary-lines, either in genuine or forged. All these lines are coarse, thick, uneven, and more or less irregularly drawn. The cap of Liberty is rather like a bee-hive, but the top, such as it is, curls over distinctly to the right. The pole seems to stop short at the back edge of the cap, instead of going inside it; and it is exactly central. The top and side-arms of the cross are quite as long as the stem below the arms. There is a distinct, triangular space below the book, formed by the lower edge of the book, and the flags. This triangle contains eight vertical lines; and the “thing” which hides part of the triangle in the genuine is absent in the forgeries. Below the right-hand flag are to be seen the butt of the left-hand flag-staff (very much shorter than in the genuine) and the hooked end of a walking- stick. Below the other flag are the end of the right-hand flag-staff (also shorter than the genuine) and what looks like the mouth of a small cannon. There is no little arch above the cross, on the large semi-circular line. The bottom point of the shield is open; i.e. there is a break in the outline, just at the point, which is not the case with the genuine.
Typographed, in black, on medium, colored laid paper. The laid lines run horizontally in my specimen, but I do not know whether this is always the case. The dark parts in the texture of the paper are slightly wider than the light, laid lines. There are eleven dents or concave scallops in the top line of the frame. A straight-edge, laid along the top edge of the book, would pass clear between the C and O of CORREOS. The tests for the shield, etc., are the same as in the first issue. The spear-heads on the flag-staves are short, and rather blunt or stumpy. There are two other spear-heads, above the book, which are very distinct.
First Forgery. Medio Real
Of this I have only the MEDIO REAL. Lithographed (?) on thinnish, vertically-laid paper, of the palest possible tint of yellowish sea-green; indeed, it might be called greenish-white paper. There are only ten dents in the top frame of the stamp. A straight-edge, laid along the top edge of the book, cuts almost through the center of the first O of CORREOS. The spear-heads of the flags are very long and pointed, especially the left one. The spear-heads above the book are blunt stumps, the left one is only a dot. The lines in the shield are as follows: Left top compartment, sixteen horizontal lines; right top compartment, thirteen vertical lines; left bottom compartment, twelve vertical lines; right bottom compartment, fourteen horizontal lines. The vertical lines are much thicker and more irregular than the horizontal ones. The triangular space, between the book and the flags, is much the same as in the forgeries of the first issue; except that the two lines forming the pole extend into it, diverging as they go, so that the pole looks like a long cone or extinguisher, reaching from the flags to the cap of Liberty. There are the butts of three flag-staves showing below each flag; and the musket and sword are absent. The cross leans over to the right.
There is a black dot in the large, semicircular line (just above the cross), to represent the little semicircle, or arch. The lettering is evidently done with a lithographic pen, instead of being from types. The white vertical bar, at the bottom of the stamp (a portion of the large white cross which divides the shield in four), is not central; but the center of the bar is too much to the left of the center of the bottom of the shield.
Second Forgery. Un Real
Of this I have only the UN REAL. Lithographed, on yellow, and on dirty buff laid paper, moderately smooth, and very thick and hard. The laid lines run sometimes vertically, sometimes horizontally. They are rather peculiar, as the light lines are much wider than the dark ones, and can be seen plainly, as the stamp lies on the table. A straight-edge, laid along the top of the book, would cut centrally into the first O of CORREOS. The lines in the shield are as follows: Left top compartment, fifteen horizontal lines; right top compartment, thirteen vertical lines; left bottom compartment, fifteen vertical lines; right bottom compartment, fourteen horizontal lines. The vertical lines are very coarse and irregular, looking as though they had been re-drawn. There is the plain triangle between the book and the flags, as in the other forgeries; and there is a sort of extinguisher in it, but it hardly seems to form part of the pole. The cross is made too tall, so that it touches the outline of the large semicircle. Just above the cross is a small blotch, to represent the little semicircle. There are three spear-butts visible, each side, below the flags; and the musket-stock and sword-handle are absent. There are two dim blotches above the book, not at all like spear-heads. The C and O of CORREOS are much smaller than the other letters. The letters all look as though made with a pen, instead of being printing letters; that is to say, they are printing letters, but hand-made in appearance.
Lithographed (?), with CORREOS and the value printed in afterwards, generally more or less out of the proper position. The lower half of the S of DIOS is larger than the upper half. The first A of PATRIA is crossed very low down; the upright stroke of the T slants decidedly over to the left; the tail of the R points directly downwards; the I is almost exactly vertical, and the last A, which is very sharply pointed, is crossed higher up than the first A. The upper fork of the left-hand end of the scroll containing the Latin words is a good distance from the side of the frame. The left upper compartment of the shield contains seventeen horizontal lines; the right upper compartment contains fifteen vertical lines; the left lower compartment contains thirteen vertical lines; and the right lower compartment contains fifteen horizontal lines. The two flags on the face of the shield are very distinct, and all the various lines upon them can easily be counted with the microscope. The little outlined white cross in the center of the upper part of the shield, above the cap of Liberty and the open book, is nicely drawn; and the vertical part is very nearly as long above, as below the arms. The semicircular black line shows a little black ball in it, just above the cross, and the ends of this semicircular line do not quite touch the flag-staves.
Of the first forgery, now to be described, 1 have a sheet, containing, on the left side, one pane of twenty-five stamps (5 x 5) of the UN real, and, on the right side, a pane of the same number of the Medio real. They are not quite alike, so I describe them separately.
First Forgery. Medio Real
Lithographed, on thin (but not pelure) pale green wove paper. CORREOS and MEDIO REAL are lithographed at the same time, as part of the design, instead of being printed in afterwards; CORREOS being rather too much to the right, and MEDIO REAL rather too much to the left. The lower half of the S of DIOS is decidedly smaller than the upper half. Each A of PATRIA is crossed rather high up; the upright stroke of the T is very nearly vertical; the tail of the R points obliquely to the right; the I slants very much over to the right, and the last A has a square top. The upper fork of the left-hand end of the scroll almost touches the side of the frame. The left upper compartment of the shield contains thirteen horizontal lines; the right upper compartment contains twelve vertical lines; the left lower compartment contains ten vertical lines; and the right lower corner contains eleven horizontal lines. All these lines are too thick, and coarse and blotchy. The two flags on the face of the shield are not nearly so distinct from the shield as in the genuine; the lines on the said flags are so blotched as to be indistinguishable. The little cross, near the top of the shield, is badly shaped; the upper limb is very much shorter than the lower one, and the right arm thick and out of shape. The semicircular line above the flags has no black ball in its centre, and its two ends touch the two flag-staves.
First Forgery. UN Real
Lithographed, on the same paper as the Medio real, just described. The design is the same as in the Medio Real, except in the following points: Correos and UN real are placed centrally in their respective labels. The s of DIOS leans over to the left. In the word PATRIA, the R is distinctly taller than the letters each side of it, and the head looks bigger than the tail. The T of this word is quite vertical, and the top of the last A is pointed. The lines in the shield are: Left upper compartment, fourteen horizontal lines; right upper compartment, ten vertical lines; left lower compartment, ten vertical lines (like the Medio Real); right lower compartment, twelve horizontal lines. The cross is much better drawn than that of the Medio Real, but the end of the left arm is often broken, though not always. There is a black ball, in the center of the semicircular line, just above the top of the cross. The cap of Liberty, in both of the above counterfeits, has a large, prominent hook.
Second Forgery. UN Real
Of this I have only the UN real. Lithographed (including CORREOS and the value), on thin, (but not pelure), very hard, very pale rose, and also on softer, yellow wove paper. The lower half of the S of DIOS is smaller than the upper one, and the tail is joined to the body, making it look very like an 8. The T of PATRIA is vertical; the R has an absurdly swollen head and hardly any tail; the I is much too short, and slants over decidedly to the right; the last A has no cross-bar. Only part of the L of LIBERTAD is visible, instead of the whole of it being” perfectly distinct. The upper fork of the left-hand end of the scroll almost touches the frame, as in the first forgery. The lines in the shield are as follows: Left upper compartment, fourteen horizontal lines; right upper compartment, ten vertical lines; left lower compartment, ten vertical lines; right lower compartment, twelve horizontal lines. The two flags do not show up well from the face of the stamp, but they are better than in the first forgery. The little outlined cross is short and stumpy. The open book below the cross has no lines on it; though there are five dotted, horizontal lines (to represent printing), on the right-hand page, in the genuine. The cap of Liberty in front of the book is a curious, hook- shaped object, and it is not on a pole, though the pole is distinct in the genuine. The staff of the left-hand flag runs right up to the boundary of the shield, and has no spear-head to it. In the genuine, the spear-head is visible, and does not go anywhere near the outline of the shield.
Third Forgery. Medio Real
This is the common one, which may be seen in the album of every school-boy. I do not know how many varieties there may be; but I have it on white, bluish green, Prussian blue, greyish-olive, ochre-yellow, and pale magenta.
Lithographed, colors as above, on thin, (not pelure,) wove paper, rather hard. CORREOS and the value are lithographed at the same time, instead of being printed in afterwards; CORREOS is placed centrally in the label; MEDIO REAL ditto. The S of DIOS slopes over to the right, instead of being vertical. The P of PATRIA (which has a very short stem in the genuine, making it look rather like a D) has a long stem in this forgery; the I slopes considerably over to the right, and the top of the last A is square. The A of LIBERTAD is generally very curiously blotched, or malformed, as though a v had first been drawn, and then corrected. There are two vertical lines, instead of one, separating the cross from the left upper compartment of the shield, and one of these two lines is crooked, and touches the left arm of the cross. The left-hand end of the scroll almost touches the side of the frame. The lines in the shield are as follows: Left upper compartment, seventeen horizontal lines ; right upper compartment, thirteen vertical lines (very crooked), and two or three dotted lines besides; left lower compartment, nine vertical lines; right lower compartment, fourteen horizontal lines; the lower ones going to the very point of the shield, which is blank in the genuine. The flags show up fairly well, and the lines on them are distinct. The outlined cross is too tall, and the upper arm “is not in the same straight line with the lower one, but set considerably to the right of its proper place. The cap of Liberty is a blunt cone, with a dark, oblique projection from its left side, near the point. It is set in front of a white square, not at all like a book, and there is an oblique black line reaching from the right upper corner of the square to the right side of the cap of Liberty, near the top. This is not visible in the genuine, or in the other two forgeries, already described. There are no dotted lines on the book. The semicircular black line has no little black ball in it, above the cross ; and the said line joins the outlines of the flags; so that flags and line together form a sort of blunt ace of spades figure, which is very much more prominent and decided than in the genuine. The line below CORREOS goes right across, so as to touch the inner line of the frame on both sides. It does not touch at either end in the genuine, though it is very close on the left side. The inner line above CORREOS is drawn too long on the left side, so that it projects slightly beyond the vertical line which meets it.
Third Forgery. UN Real
Lithographed, on white, Prussian blue, pale magenta, and greyish-olive wove paper, the same substance as in the Medio Real, just described. The design is the same as the third forgery of the Medio Real, where not otherwise stated. The words UN REAL are placed slightly too much to the left. The S of DIOS does not slope nearly so much to the right as it does in the Medio Real. The A of LIBERTAD generally, but not always, shows a blotch. There is only one vertical line, separating the cross from the left upper compartment of the shield, and it does not touch the cross. The lines on the shield are: Left upper compartment, fourteen horizontal lines (the bottom line is very thick, and is really double); right upper compartment, fourteen vertical lines; left lower compartment, twelve vertical lines; right lower compartment, about fourteen horizontal lines. The sixth horizontal line in the left, upper compartment has been drawn much too far, and projects from the side of the shield. There is a black ball just above the cross in the semi-circular line. The inner line of the frame, above CORREOS, is not drawn too long in this forgery. There is a line drawn partly or entirely along the tops of the letters of REAL, joining them together. Some specimens show this line extending from the N of UN, through, and even beyond, the L of REAL, but it does not extend so far in all my copies. The rest of the tests are the same as for the third forgery of the Medio Real.
From: ‘Album Weeds’, 3rd edition by R. B. Eareé. 1906