Brazil 1816-B 20 reis
This specimen was struck at the Bahia mint in Brazil in 1817. The minting of copper twenty réis began in 1693 and continued sporadically thru the eighteenth century. Issues became larger and more frequent after 1802, when the coin's weight was cut in half. This type was struck at Bahia 1812-16 and Rio 1812-18. Large numbers were minted until 1831, well after independence. Counterfeits are numerous, particularly of the Bahia issues, which were cruder than Rio issues.
By the 1830's, so many had been issued that the public began to refuse them. In 1835, the government called them in and countermarked them to half their former value to increase their acceptance. Private and counterfeit countermarks also exist, making this series confusing but fascinating to collect.
Recorded mintage: 700,000.
Catalog reference: KM 233.2.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
- Pimentel, Alvaro Mendes, Catálogo de Moedas Brasileiras de 1643 a 1962, 9a Ed., Rio de Janeiro, 1962.