1809 - Ceylon

96 Stiver - Two Rix-dollar

A non-genuine Ninety Six Stiver silver coin cast, either a contemporary forgery or a modern fake of original silver dump coin struck in Ceylon for circulation.

Denomination96 Stiver
Diameter23.0 mm
Thickness mm
Weight Legal18.14 gms
Weight10.481 gms
MintTourist Fake
1809_96st_ag-cast_obverse 1809_96st_ag-cast_reverse
Fake of Pridmore #2; Mitchiner #2201; Krause #78

Obverse : Within a circle of dashes an elephant facing left with the year 1809 below a ground line.
Reverse : Within a circle of dashes CEYLONGOVERNMENT preceded by a group of seven dots. The value in Stivers 96 ST at center within a bead circle. Two lines below the T.

Cast silver specimens like this can only be regarded at the best as local contemporary forgeries; at the worst as concocted fabrications for the collector. This forgery is 42% underweight !! The font of the 96 in this coin is also significantly different from the normal. Note also the irregular bead circle and the size and orientation of the lettering around it.

Does the lower weight could indicate a contempory forgery since that was the source of profit from forgery ? Wouldn't a modern forger use the correct weight of silver since that is relatively cheap.
The seller in Kandy claimed ignorance of the origin, and said the few coins were from her late fathers stock, which had few more of similar type, indicating it may not be a very recent Fake made for "Tourists". I find it hard to believe a contempory forger could however get away with a wrong design and 42% underweight.

Pridmore Lists 2 varieties for 1809 (P#2-3), i.e. Seven dots with two, and no lines below T. See also genuine coin from Jan Lingen collection.

This forgery was scanned at 300dpi and the images are displayed at 300dpi. It was purchased in November 1995 from an antique shop in Kandy, before researching the details on these coins, or knowing what I was buying. Makes me understand how easy it must be to market these to anyone who has not readup about the coins, and partly motivated this lakdivaCoins website to provide information that will help other not get fooled the same way. The same dealer had a second specimen of very similer design.

Another specimen appeard on eBay Auction in 2004 May with two other non-genuine Ceylon coins of type from same Era. The Seller said I qoute I obtained these coins from an impeccable business associate about 25 years ago and I recall he told me that he had bought them in a shop in Kandy. I think he made a present of them to me, since he knew that I collected coins. I have no reason to suspect it to be a forgery and I would have stated that on the Ebay site if I had known it be so.

Following my advise the dealer from UK closed all three Auction Early and sent me the coins for illustration as fakes on this website.