Brazil 1716-R 4000 reis

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Eliasberg lot 1117
Brazil 1716R 4000 reis rev Eliasberg 1117.jpg
This specimen was lot 1117 in the Eliasberg sale, where it sold for $2990. The catalog description[1] noted,
"1716 4,000 reis. Rio mint. MS-63 (NGC). Types as above. Warm orange highlights on medium gold surfaces. Good lustre, an especially high grade example. A piece like this one would make an excellent type coin for those American collectors interested in gathering foreign coins that circulated legally in the colonial and early Federal period. This denomination was known as a moidore to colonial Americans and would have been accepted in commerce from Boston to the Caribbean, not to mention most other places in the world. Its popularity as a world trade coin would be matched or exceeded by the Joe series of 6,400 reis from later in the 18th century. From the John H. Clapp Collection; Clapp estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., 1942."

This type was struck in Rio 1707-27 and in Bahia 1714-27 (KM 106). Later issues (1749-1822) were only 8.07 g, like explaining the scarcity of these early issues.

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: unknown.

Specification: 10.75 g, .917 fine gold, .317 troy oz AGW; this specimen: 10.71 grams, 29.60 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: KM 102, Fr-27.

Source:

  • [1]Kraljevich, John, John Pack, Elizabeth O. Piper and Frank Van Valen, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., Collection of World Gold Coins and Medals, Wolfboro, NH: American Numismatic Rarities, 2005.
  • 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.
  • Krause, Chester L., and Colin R. Bruce II, Standard Catalog of World Coins: Spain, Portugal and the New World, Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.
  • 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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