While digging through a lot of world coins, I discovered what
appears to be a coin from Spain, or one of its territories, from
I am not positive about this coin; however, it appears to be from
the reign of Ferdinand I of Spain, the husband of Queen Isabella of
Spain, who commissioned Christopher Columbus to sail to the Americas
I wanted to check to see if this coin was worthy of historical
interest to Coin World readers.
The find is worthy of historical interest, but only as far back as
1973, and more specifically, the U.S. Hobby Protection Act of 1973.
Judging from the photos submitted, chances are good that Mr.
Bennett’s item is a modern-day cast piece, composed of cheap pot
metal, that loosely represents a Spanish coin of the Ferdinand and
Isabella era. Many of these were made as novelties to represent
Mr. Bennett’s piece does not bear the legally required word COPY,
so either it was manufactured prior to the 1973 act or produced later
in violation of the act.
Coin World senior staff writer Jeff Starck provides a
good explanation of the 1973 act in a June 7, 2010, Coin
“The 1973 Hobby Protection Act, requiring that replica numismatic
items bear the word COPY, passed after years of effort from hobby
members and legislators intent on addressing the growing number of
reproductions, copies, imitations and forgeries of coins in the late
1960s and early 1970s.
“The Hobby Protection Act regulates the production of numismatic
replicas, including copies of such items as Colonial coins, pioneer
gold coins and early paper money. The act requires manufacturers and
importers of ‘imitation political items’ and ‘imitation numismatic
items’ to mark such items ‘plainly and permanently’ with COPY.
“Previous to the Hobby Protection Act’s passage, copies,
imitations and replicas of various numismatic items proliferated,
duping the public inadvertently or purposely into believing the pieces
were genuine coins, medals, tokens, paper money or other numismatic items.
“The purpose of the law was to curb the misrepresentation and
fraud associated with the replica and counterfeit coins then rampant.
“An imitation numismatic item is defined in the act as ‘an item
which purports to be, but in fact is not, an original numismatic item
or which is a reproduction, copy, or counterfeit of an original
numismatic item.’ ”
Coin World’s Readers Ask department does not accept coins
or other items for examination without prior permission from staff
member Erik Martin. Readers Ask also does not examine error or variety
coins. Materials sent to Readers Ask without prior permission will be
returned unexamined. Please address all Readers Ask inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call
800-673-8311, Ext. 274.