Brazil 1820(b) 4000 reis

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Heritage sale 3020, lot 23269
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 23269 in Heritage sale 3020 (Long Beach, September 2012), where it sold for $129,250. The catalog description[1] noted, "João VI gold 4000 Reis 1820(B), MS62 NGC, lightly toned with exceptionally bold design features, struck at the Bahia Mint without mintmark. This piece lists simply as 'Rare' or "Extremely Rare" in every reference material we consulted including Krause, Russo, Gomez, Salgado, Prober and others. Missing from Eliasberg, Norweb and most importantly Carlos Costa's collection which now sits at the Banco Espirito Santo Museum. The only record we know of a 1820 Bahia 4000 Reis is from the Thomas Faistauer collection sold by Hess-Divo in the 1990's (which may well be this very coin). In any event, this is a major gold rarity struck in Brazil just at the dawn of its independence a couple of years later. Adding to the incredible appeal of this coin, of course, is that it is in mint state condition." The Rio mint struck this type 1818-22 in reasonable numbers such that it is not rare but Bahia mint product is rare. The Bahia product is distinguished by the crosses flanking the date instead of the usual florettes.

Recorded mintage: 4,374.

Specification: 8.07 g, .917 fine gold, .237 troy oz AGW.

Catalog reference: KM 327.3, Russo-581.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • [1]Tucker, Warren, and Cris Bierrenbach, Heritage Signature Auction 3020: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2012.

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