Brazil 1732-B 6400 reis

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Heritage sale 3037, lot 31019
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries
This specimen was lot 31019 in Heritage sale 3037 (New York, January 2015), where it sold for $146,875. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Finest of only Two Extant Specimens, The Only Mint State Example of the Type in Private Hands. João V gold 6400 Reis (Peça) 1732-B MS61 NGC, Bahia mint, Faint abrasions mainly encountered on the obverse account for the designation, but a truly handsome specimen with incredibly fresh, fully lustrous and reflective surfaces. Minor adjustment marks and a slight weakness on the shield do not detract from the great eye-appeal of this piece and are mentioned solely for accuracy purposes. Rarely do all available numismatic references so blatantly agree on the rarity of a piece - or an entire series! - belonging to a popular and well researched issue. Similarly to, say, the early Capped Head American Half Eagle series of 1813-1834 (where classic rarities such as the 1815, 1822 and 1829 dates can be found), the "Type 3" 6400 Reis (Peça) struck at the Bahia mint under João V have long been considered as legendary rarities of the well-studied and popular Brazilian Colonial gold series. All four specialized references (Prober, Gomes, Russo and Bentes) list each of the four dates between 1729 and 1732 as excessively rare, and a total combined population of 6 previously confirmed specimens for the entire series can be deducted: the four authors agree on the uniqueness of the 1729-B and 1732-B dates, the 1731-B is listed as either 'Unique' or '2 known' (the latter is accurate), while the 1730-B - listed as Excessively rare in Gomes and Russo - actually has only 2 confirmed specimens (and is listed as 'Unique' by Prober and Bentes). Moreover, three of those known 6 specimens (one each for the dates 1729, 1731 and 1732) are currently impounded in the legendary Ex-Carlos Marques da Costa collection at the Espirito Santo Bank, thus reducing even more the scant number of available specimens in private hands. Note that said ex-Costa specimen of the 1732-B is the plate coin for the date on three of the aforementioned references (Prober does not plate it). The present coin ranks as the most significant discovery piece recalled by the cataloguer in the field of Brazilian numismatics: a second specimen of the "Type 3" 6400 Reis 1732-B is now confirmed. To add to its importance, it is irrefutably in finer preservation that the other known piece (the aforementioned ex-Costa specimen now impounded in the Espirito Santo bank). In fact, it is the only Mint State extant specimen of the entire type together with possibly the unique 1729-B also impounded in said collection (ex-Faistauer collection - Hess-Divo 1/1997, lot 27, described as "Extremely Fine" but probably Mint State as confirmed by the picture in the 2008 catalog of the Espirito Santo bank). It thus represents the finer of only two known specimens of the "Type 3" 1732-B Peca and the only Mint State example of the type in private hands. As such, its importance as one of Brazil's most valuable and significant coins can hardly be overstated. It is bound to become the centerpiece of the next owner's collection and -needless to say - bound to attract sustained bidding activity. From The Santa Catarina Collection of Brazilian Gold Coins."

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 14.34 g, .917 fine gold, .423 troy oz AGW.

Catalog reference: KM146 ("Unique"), Russo-105 ("Unique"), Gomes-130.04 ("Unique"), Maldonado-110.04 ("Unique"), Prober-O300 ("Unique").


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 3037, featuring the Empire, the Santa Catarina, the Law and the Santa Maria Collections, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2014.

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