Bolivia 1770-PTS JR 4 reales

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Ponterio sale 155, lot 7111
photo courtesy Ponterio & Associates

This specimen was lot 7111 in Ponterio sale 155 (Baltimore, November 2010), where it sold for $483. The catalog description[1] noted, "BOLIVIA. 4 Reales, 1770-JR. Toned. VERY FINE." The SCWC lists this type for 1767-70. It is not rare as pillar four reales go but this specimen sold well in excess of the catalog value.

Harris[2] lists the Charles III pillar four reales in order of abundance: Mexico, Potosi, Guatemala, Lima (scarce), Santiago (very rare). Specimens in high grade are very rare. In 1771, milled coinage was suspended at the Potosi mint in favor of the resumption of cob production. The mintmaster was rebuked for this and forced to return to milling coins in 1773 with the introduction of portrait coinage.

Mexican numismatists hotly debate which side of the coin constitutes the obverse. Gilboy depicts the shield side as the obverse as that side bears the king's name. However, auction catalogs and dealer listings more frequently use the pillars and globes side as the obverse, as that side bears the date.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 13.54 g, .917 fine silver, .399 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: KM-46; Gil-P-4-4.

Source:

  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, and Kent Ponterio, The November 2010 Baltimore Auction, Irvine, CA: Bowers and Merena, 2010.
  • Gilboy, Frank F., The Milled Columnarios of Central and South America: Spanish American Pillar Coinage, 1732 to 1772, Regina, Saskatchewan: Prairie Wind Publishing, 1999.
  • [2]Harris, Robert P., Pillars & Portraits, San José, CA: Bonanza Press, 1968
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.

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