Brazil 1705-R 4000 reis

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UBS sale 84, lot 2615

This specimen is lot 2615 in UBS sale 84 (Basel, January 2010). The catalog description[1] noted, "BRAZIL. Pedro II. 1683-1706. 4000 Reis 1705, Rio. Crowned arms between value and quatrefoils. Rev. Cross of Jerusalem, in the angles mintmarks. Minor edge fault. About extremely fine." This type was struck 1703-07. All the dates are rare. Mintage of this denomination was suspended in 1727; when it resumed in 1749 it was at a lower weight of 8.07 g.

The gold coinage of Brazil presents problems which have not been resolved to this author's satisfaction. The early series of "moedas provinciales" (1000, 2000 and 4000 réis struck 1714-27) were struck to the standard of 12,600 réis/troy oz. The later series of "moedas provinciales" (1000, 2000 and 4000 réis struck 1749-1822) were struck to the standard of 16,800 réis/troy oz, which seems a straightforward reduction of 25% of the value of the gold réis. However, simultaneous with the "moedas provinciales" were struck the "moedas luso-brasileiras" (800, 1600, 3200, 6400 and 12800 réis struck 1727-1822) to the standard of 15,120 réis/troy oz. This standard values the gold réis 20% lower than the 1714-27 standard and matched the standard used in Portugal itself (see the 4 escudos or peça, struck in Portugal 1722-1835, which matches the 6400 réis of Brazil). How did merchants of the time cope with multiple weight standards for the same currency?

Recorded mintage: 60,997.

Specification: 10.75 g, .917 fine gold, .317 troy oz AGW, this specimen: 10.58 grams.

Catalog reference: Russo 46, Gomes-100.04, Fr-25, KM 101.

Source:

  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • [1]UBS Gold & Numismatics, Auction 84: Gold and Silver Coins, Basel, 2009.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Pimentel, Alvaro Mendes, Catálogo de Moedas Brasileiras de 1643 a 1962, 9a Ed., Rio de Janeiro, 1962.
  • Sáez Salgado, Javier, Moedas de Ouro de Portugal, 1185-1889, Lisbon, Numisma Leiloes, 2001.
  • Alberto Gomes and Francisco Antonio Magro, Moedas Portuguesas e do Território Que Hoje é Portugal: Catálogo das Moedas Cunhadas para o Continentes e Ilhas Adjacentes, para os Territórios do Ultramar e Grão-Mestres Portugueses da Ordem de Malta, 6ª Edição, Lisbon: Associação Numismática de Portugal, 2013.

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