Guatemala 1742-G J 1/2 real
Shown is a 1742 ½ real from the Guatemala mint, of a type issued 1733-1752. 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. The endeavour was abandoned shortly thereafter and the mint began striking coins on irregular planchets without applying edge devices, which was achieved at an acceptable rate.
Not all details of the coin are clear, but effort was made to position the date such that it would appear on the resultant coin, in this case only the final two digits.
Mexican numismatists hotly debate which side of the coin constitutes the obverse. Gilboy 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: 1.62 g, 0.917 fine silver, 0.0498 oz ASW.
Catalog reference: KM 2, Cayon-8296.
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