Guatemala 1755-G 1/2 real

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photo courtesy Aureo y Calico Auctions

Shown is a 1755 half real from the Guatemala mint, of a type issued 1754-1771. 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 for lack of skilled personnel, production of milled coins equivalent to those being produced at Mexico City was not economically feasible[2]. In 1754 the machinery and level of skill permitted issue of round, milled coins, though local fabrication of dies was not at the same technical level as the Mexico City mint.

The example shown was lot 2990 and sold on April 29, 2010 at an auction by Aureo y Calico for about $63. It was previously holed and repaired. Many of the fractional pillar coins from Guatemala were holed and strung to facilitate transport by the local population.

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: 1.62 g, 0.917 fine silver, 0.0498 oz ASW.

Catalog reference: KM 2.

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.
  • Krause, Chester L., and Colin R. Bruce II, Standard Catalog of World Coins: Eighteenth Century 1701-1800, Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.
  • Robinson, Charles, The Coins of Central America, 1733-1965, San Benito, TX: 1965.

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