Guatemala 1758-G 1/2 real

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from the Stack's Bowers 2017 Collector's Choice sale
Guatemala SB517-72368r.jpg

Shown is a 1758 half real from the Guatemala mint, of a type issued from 1754 to 1760. The king's name (Ferdinand VI) is abbreviated as 'FERD' on the obverse. Guatemala is the only Spanish colonial mint to use this particular abbreviation. The Guatemala half real is also the only example of Spanish colonial pillar coinage that omits the assayer's initial (should be P). This specimen was lot 72368 in Stack's Bowers Collectors Choice Online Auction (Santa Ana, CA, May 2017), where it sold for $1,116.25. The catalog description[2] noted, "GUATEMALA. 1/2 Real, 1758-G. Ferdinand VI (1746-59). NGC VF-35. No hole or repair! VERY SCARCE this nice. Good strike, toned and quite attractive. Provenance: From 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: 1.62 g, 0.917 fine silver, 0.0498 oz ASW.

Catalog reference: G-05-5, KM 15.


  • Krause, Chester L., and Colin R. Bruce II, Standard Catalog of World Coins: Spain, Portugal and the New World, Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.
  • [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.
  • Harris, Robert P., Pillars & Portraits, San José, CA: Bonanza Press, 1968.
  • Robinson, Charles, The Coins of Central America, 1733-1965, San Benito, TX: 1965.
  • [2]Ponterio, Rick, et al., The May 2017 Collector's Choice Sale, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2017.

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