Brazil 1779 1000 reis

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Eliasberg lot 1209
Brazil 1779 1000 reis rev Eliasberg 1209.jpg

This specimen was lot 1209 in the Eliasberg sale, where it sold for $402.50. The catalog description[1] noted, "1779 1,000 reis. EF-45 (NGC). Types as above. Medium gold, typical surfaces for the grade. From the John H. Clapp Collection; Clapp estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., 1942." This type was struck at Lisbon for Brazil in limited numbers 1778-79 and 1781-82.

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: 3,000.

Specification: 2.01 g, .917 fine gold, .059 troy oz; this specimen: 2.03 grams, 18.00 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: KM 208, Fr-84.

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.

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