Brazil 1771-R 150 reis

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Heritage sale 3009, lot 20436
image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This silver 150 réis was minted at the Rio mint for Brazil in 1771 only. This coin would have traded in the 18th century at about one-twelfth of a Spanish dollar. The specimen was lot 20443 in Heritage sale 3009 (Chicago, April 2010), where it sold for $690. The catalog description[1] noted, "Jose I 150 Reis 1771R with Countermark, cleaned VF, crude obverse countermark, holed and plugged below the first 7 of the date." This type is scarce; the contemporary Bahia issue of 1752-68 (KM 177) is much rarer. This specimen was counterstamped in 1809 to raise its value to 160 réis.

The catalog[1] commented on the "J-series" as follows:
"During the reign of José I (1750-1777), with gold flowing out of the mines in the province of Minas Gerais, coins of the so-called 'J series' were struck at the Rio (R) and Bahia (B) mints for circulation in Minas. The purpose of these coins, with odd denominations of 75, 150, 300 and 600 Réis, was to facilitate the gold trade in the province. Gold value was determined in multiples of 150 Réis and corresponded to 4.5 grains (75 Réis), 9 grains (150 Réis), 18 grains (300 réis) and so on. Towards the end of the 18th century, as gold in the Minas mines diminished, the coins of the J-series were countermarked with a 'mini-shield' elevating its value to the standard 80, 160, 320, 640 Réis. Subsequently, in the first decades of the 19th century, the coins of the J series were restruck all together. Coins of this type are some of the most charismatic and challenging series in the vast realm of Brazilian numismatics, and finding a coin in higher than VF condition is extremely difficult."

Recorded mintage: 13,000 (both varieties).

Specification: 18.11 g, .917 fine silver, .534 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: KM 296, Russo 290.

Source:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • [1]Tucker, Warren, and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 3009: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2010.

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