Brazil 1741-R 3200 reis
This specimen was lot 1150 in the Eliasberg sale, where it sold for $5,750. The catalog description noted, "1741 3,200 reis. Rio mint. AU-55 (NGC). Types as above. Lustrous even yellow gold, light rim bruise under 17 of date, good eye appeal. Quite scarce, more elusive than the Jo of 6,400 reis. The Norweb coin, called Very Fine plus, brought $5,280. From the John H. Clapp Collection; Clapp estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., 1942."
The commonest Brazilian gold coin of colonial times was the 6400 réis, called a "joe" in English speaking countries. This coin would have been a "half joe" but was issued in very small numbers. This type was struck in Rio 1739, 1741 and 1749 and in Bahia 1727-50.
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: 7.17 g, .917 fine gold, .211 troy oz AGW; this specimen: 7.11 grams, 25.70 mm.
Catalog reference: KM 155, Fr-47.
- 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.