Brazil 1724-B 4000 reis
This type was struck between 1714 and 1727 in Bahia as part of the "moeda provincial" series. While the 4000 réis is relatively available, its fractions (2000 réis and 1000 réis) are much scarcer. The weight of the 4000 réis was lowered from 10.75 g to 8.07 g in 1749; consequently, the earlier issues are quite scarce. This specimen was lot 466 in Ponterio sale 145.
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.
Catalog reference: KM 106, Friedberg 30.
- Amato, Claudio, Irlei S. Neves and Arnaldo Russo, Livro das Moedas do Brasil, 12a ed. Sao Paulo, 2008.
- 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.
- Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
- 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.
- Pimentel, Alvaro Mendes, Catálogo de Moedas Brasileiras de 1643 a 1962, 9a Ed., Rio de Janeiro, 1962.
- Ponterio, Richard, Kent Ponterio, Stewart Westdal and Ken Spindler, Ponterio sale 145: the N.Y.I.N.C. '08 sale featuring the Leslie Hannula Collection, San Diego, CA: Ponterio & Associates, 2007.