In your article on Alves Reis, you missed one very important thing he used his notes to purchase. He bought up stock shares in the
Bank of Portugal in an effort to gain a controlling interest. (He came close, too.) The reason was because under Portuguese law ONLY the
Bank of Portugal could bring charges of counterfeiting against someone. If he had controlling interest, he would have been in a position
to stop any investigations into his "extra" banknotes.
As a side note, a few months ago one of his notes did appear on eBay. It was slabbed by PMG as a genuine Bank of Portugal note and not
as an Reis copy.
When Reis had his notes printed he had not completely worked out the bank's serial numbering system. According to information in
Murray Bloom's book, Portugal never used a double vowel in the serial number prefix, and the prefix letters never went past AN. The
note in the PMG holder had an AU prefix.
I would have loved to have added the note to my collection, but with a grade Gem Uncirculated 66 and EPQ (Exceptional Paper Quality)
and a price of $49,000 I had to pass.
I would like to have one of his notes someday but after the copies were discovered the bank actively withdrew the notes from
circulation so today even the genuine notes are not cheap.
I'm glad Michael brought that up - that's my favorite part of the whole scheme. The guy was a genius.
That note is still available on eBay. So PMG didn't realize it was a Reis note. But again, is it a "counterfeit"? A
"counterfeit" that violates eBay policy? This one would have their legal team arguing in circles. -Editor