Paper Money of Chihuahua

.. by Simon Prendergast

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Home The History The sábanas Counterfeit $20 sábanas Type 1

Counterfeit $20 sábanas Type 1

The characteristics listed in the notice of 21 March 1914 are as follows:

letters are thicker (más gruesos)
ink is blacker


edging frame is made up of plates so slight breaks in corners

edging is continuous in the corners

Chao’s signature stroke ends in a thick flourish

Chao’s signature ends in a lump (bola o nudo)

Tesorería seal is rubber and handstamped so details are blurred

seal is of metal, usually steel, so details are perfect

The notice of 24 March 1914 lists:

Rubber seal, printed in different colours
Steel seal, printed in a single colour, without a bar after ‘CHIHUAHUA’
Small joints at the corners and various parts of edging Edging appears continuous
Either ‘No’ ‘No’ in red, or a single ‘Num’ in black Single ‘Num’ in black

In ‘TESORERIA’ ‘I’ separated from ‘A’

‘I’ joined to foot of ‘A’

In ‘DEL ESTADO’ the 'DE'        (se desprended de las rectas de cada letra) 'DE' are joined at the top

comma after 'VALIDO'

no comma after 'VALIDO'
Type finer Type thicker

No comma after ‘Gobernador Provisional del Estado’

Comma after ‘Interventor’

Point after ‘Interventor’

The initial angle of Vargas' signature is thinner Thicker
the hatching lines in ‘VEINTE PESOS’ are fine and separate lines are very coarse (muy toscas)
In the majority, a bolita in Chao’s signature

On 26 March 1914 Pedro Maese, the collector of customs at Ciudad Juárez and the expert who determined which money was counterfeit and which genuine, testified before a United States commissioner's court in El Paso, in the case of J. G. Sperro, charged with having in his possession forged and counterfeit money of a foreign countryEl Paso Herald, 26 March 1914. Maese outlined the following differences:


comma after 'VALIDO'

no comma after 'VALIDO'actually reported in the newspaper the other way round
heavier paper
the angle of the flourish of Vargas’ signature is much heavier

In March 1914 the El Paso HeraldEl Paso Herald, 27 March 1914 reported that local businessmen were doing a bit of expert money examination on their own initiative. Having obtained one of the notes that has been restamped in Ciudad Juárez, they compared all money that was offered them and if it compared well they accepted it in payment for goods and in exchange for American money at the prevailing rate. There were many ways to distinguish between bad and good rebel money. By placing two of the notes side by side, the difference could be readily seen but the only difficulty was is in telling which was genuine and which was bogus. The newspaper said that the $20 sábanas had been most widely counterfeited and the differences it listed were:


printing in background is much paler green

serial number in the upper right hand corner several shades lighter
letters used for printing bolder
impression much heavier
'CHIH.' in printers' imprint


green 'viente' easy to read
'viente' does not appear plainly
rubber stamp stamped with steel die

The notice of December 1914 also mentions:


comma after ‘Gobernador Provisional del Estado’

no comma

These notes, which include the three examples from the Supreme Court in Chihuahua, also have


comma after ‘VALIDO’

no comma


dot just below the curve of the P of ‘PESOS’


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