Guatemala 1740-G J 4 reales

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from Sedwick Treasure Auction 21, lot 1495

Shown is a 1739 four reales from the Guatemala mint, of a type issued 1733-1753. 1733 was the first year the Guatemala mint struck coinage, having first applied for authorization from the Spanish crown in 1714. The machinery was brought from Mexico City, and had already seen much service. As a consequence of that, and the fact that in Guatemala there were few people skilled in striking coins, production of milled coins equivalent to those being produced at Mexico City was not economically feasible[2]. The endeavor was abandoned shortly thereafter and the mint began striking coins on irregular planchets without applying edge devices, which was achieved at an acceptable rate.

This specimen was lot 1495 in Sedwick Treasure Auction 21 (Winter Park, FL, May 2017), where it sold for $531.78. The catalog description[3] noted, "Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, 4 reales, Type I countermark (1838, rare) on a Guatemala, cob 4 reales, 1740/39J, ex-Richard Stuart. Full and bold countermark (AU) on the shield side of an AVF host clear upper half of date (scarce overdate), full assayer and mintmark, unholed. Pedigreed to the Richard Stuart collection."

Mexican numismatists hotly debate which side of the coin constitutes the obverse. Gilboy[1] depicts the shield side as the obverse as that side bears the king's name. However, auction catalogs and dealer listings more frequently use the pillars and globes side as the obverse, as that side bears the date.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specifications: 13.53 g, 0.917 fine silver, 0.399 oz ASW, this specimen 12.96 grams.

Catalog reference: Cayón-9122, KM 5, KM-76.6 (with counterstamp).

Sources:

  • [1]Gilboy, Frank F., The Milled Columnarios of Central and South America: Spanish American Pillar Coinage, 1732 to 1772, Regina, Saskatchewan: Prairie Wind Publishing, 1999.
  • Yonaka, Brad, A Variety Guide to the Pillar Coinage of the Guatemala, Bogota, Lima, Potosi, and Santiago Mints, 1752-1771, Long Beach, CA: Agorocu Consulting, 2018.
  • [2]Jara, Carlos M., Historia de la Casa de Moneda de Guatemala 1731-1776, Santiago, Chile: Andros Impresores, 2010.
  • [3]Sedwick, Daniel F., Augi Garcia and Cori Sedwick Downing, Treasure Auction #21, featuring Selections from the Richard Stuart Collection, Winter Park, FL: Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, 2017.
  • Cayón, Adolfo, Clemente Cayón and Juan Cayón, Las Monedas Españolas, del Tremis al Euro: del 411 a Nuestros Dias, 2 volumes, Madrid: Cayón-Jano S.L., 2005.
  • Calicó, Xavier, Numismática Española: Catálogo General con Precios de Todas las Monedas Españolas Acuñadas desde Los Reyes Católicos Hasta Juan Carlos I, 1474 a 2001, Barcelona: Aureo & Calicó, 2008.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Robinson, Charles, The Coins of Central America, 1733-1965, San Benito, TX: 1965.

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