The portrait style Spanish-American eight-reales was one of the most well kwn, and extensively circulated silver trade coins that the world has ever seen. Produced in Spain's new world colonies from 1772 to 1825, the coin made Spain a major player on the world financial stage in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This was due in large measure to the fact this coin accounted for about sixty percent of the annual silver production worldwide. The popularity and general acceptance of this particular coin - the portrait style piece-of-eight - made it the object of forgers who operated in all areas of the globe. It was a coin t merely counterfeited in the countries of origin, but in all of the places where it was accepted as currency in day-to-day transactions. It was produced in small back-room operations and in large factories. It was produced at times in utter secrecy, yet at other times it was more or less an open secret. It was produced as both worthless base metal copies and as perfect imitations containing the correct amount of silver. It has been made to circulate as currency, as well as to specifically deceive collectors. The fascinating story of these counterfeit issues created from shortly after the coin appeared until the present, is the subject of this book. The author, Robert Gurney, kwn to many coin collectors as Swamper Bob, has been a lifelong enthusiast of the series. His interest commenced as a teen when he met and spoke at length with one of the forgers who actually made these coins for a living in the 1920's. The story of the full weight and correct assay silver imitations may at times t seem possible, but the newest scientific tests available provide conclusive evidence for the production of counterfeit versions made for circulation as late as 1930. With contributions made by several table collectors, including Richard August, John Lorenzo and Gordon Nichols, this book documents the four different classifications of counterfeit eight-reales developed specifically by the author to fit the needs of this particular series. The book illustrates and describes literally hundreds of different types of counterfeits kwn to have circulated alongside the genuine versions. It expands upon the thirty-nine illustrated by Dr. John L. Riddell as circulating in New Orleans in 1845, and swells that number to some 589 varieties. This book was t written just for coin collectors, the subject is actually much broader. It is at its heart a history of the coin covering a period of 240 years of use and production. It is also the story of the methods and reasons for producing both counterfeits and forgeries during that same interval. The players and their motivations for the production of deceptive copies for over 240 years, provides some vel insights into human nature. The book is presented as a start to a long needed discussion - one that is decades overdue. It is only a start. The author hopes that this publication will bring old counterfeit coins out of their hiding places and into the light of day, where the varieties from childishly crude to artistically superb can be appreciated by everyone. Solamente el comienzo!