Brazil 1822-R 6400 reis
"1822 6,400 reis. Rio mint. VF details (NCS). Laureated nude bust of Pedro I to left, PEDRO I D.G. BRASILIAE IMPERATOR, 1822 R below/crowned arms in wreath. Bust signed Z. FERREZ for Zeferino Ferrez, the French sculptor who emigrated to Brazil in 1816. Once mounted at 12:00, surfaces somewhat granular from use in jewelry, light yellow gold. We have seen images of two of the other survivors, the Norweb coin and the piece impounded in the Banco do Brasi -- a statistically significant percentage of the other specimens -- and both also appear to have been used in jewelry or impaired. A fantastic rarity, perhaps the greatest of all Brazilian coins. Around 1918, Harry F. Williams wrote to Waldo C. Newcomer: 'Unquestionably it is the rarest and numismatically the most important coin of Latin America, few coins of any series outranking it, in either rarity or value.'
"Only 64 pieces were struck, all in the fall of 1822, during the few months after the historic 'Grito do Ipiranga,' Pedro I's declaration of 'Independence or death.' Just a month after proclaiming Brazil independent in September 1822, Pedro I was proclaimed Emperor by the Brazilian Senate. He was crowned on December 1. Readied for the coronation, the design by Ferrez was rejected by Pedro I -- according to the 1995 permanent exhibition catalogue of the Banco do Brasil collection, "these coins did not go into circulation and minting of them did not please the Emperor, perhaps on account of the way he was portrayed ... and the omission of the word 'Constitutional' in the legends."
"The specimen in the Banco do Brasil collection shows jewelry surfaces and light central pinscratches. The Norweb coin was described as 'lightly brushed, choice very fine,' and sold for $82,500. As long ago as 1969, a specimen of this coin had an auction record of $15,000. When this example sold in the 1935 Newcomer sale (at $750), only two single lots brought higher prices, including the gold 1870 Uruguay doblon (offered later in this sale). According to Harry F. Williams, whose research was featured in the Newcomer catalogue description, 'The mint records show that 57 of these coins were melted down as ordered. No trace of three of those has ever been found,' but he did note the whereabouts of the four known to him:
"1. 'One is owned by the National Library in Rio de Janiero;' this is the piece in the Banco Do Brasil.
"2. 'The Meili piece, now in the National Museum in Zurich, Switzerland.'
"3. 'One in the collection of Auguste de Souza-Lobo, the great authority on Brazilian coins, who lives in Rio de Janeiro.
"4. 'And the other is the Ramos piece, which was sent in 1911 to be sold at auction in Amsterdam,' presumably actually the 1910 Manoel Ramos sale catalogue by Schulman. The piece did not meet reserve and was bought by Williams in Bahia in 1916. This is the piece currently offered.
"In addition to the 1997 sale of the Norweb coin, we also note a 1969 sale (at $15,000) that Abe Kosoff noted in a 1973 column and a 1986 sale by Spink London of a "near EF" specimen for $87,000. Any or all of these could represent new specimens, or appearances of the previously known Souza-Lobo coin. The Norweb and 1986 Spink London coins appear to be different, which leaves a probable total population of about a half dozen pieces.
"Harry Williams sold his entire collection to Newcomer about 1918; he died in 1919. When Williams supplied Newcomer with a copy of his manuscript on gold coins of Latin America, a copy of which we have been graciously supplied by its current owner, he noted that 'only two free pieces (outside of National Museums) are believed to be in existence. Neither can be purchased unless the entire collection, of which each forms a part, is purchased in its entirety.' Newcomer apparently accepted that he could not own this coin without purchasing the entire Williams collection, and it formed the core of his substantial Latin American holdings. It has been 70 years since this coin was sold publicly. Appeared in a Jacques Schulman sale ca. 1910 but was not sold; Manoel Ramos of Bahia to Harry F. Williams in 1916; Williams collection to Waldo C. Newcomer ca. 1918; J.C. Morgenthau and Co. (Wayte Raymond)'s sale of the Waldo C. Newcomer collection, February 1935, Lot 129 (plated, $750); John H. Clapp Collection; Clapp estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., 1942."
Recorded mintage: 64 pieces.
Specification: 14.34 g, .917 fine gold, .422 troy oz AGW; this specimen: 14.21 grams, 31.60 mm diameter.
Catalog reference: KM 361, Fr-108.
- 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.
- 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.