Guatemala 1761-G 1/2 real

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from the Acanthite collection
from the Acanthite collection

Shown is a 1761 ½ real from the Guatemala mint, of a type issued from 1760 to 1771. The king's name (Carlos III) is abbreviated as 'CARO' on the obverse. Guatemala is the only Spanish colonial mint to use this particular abbreviation, and only in the years 1760 and 1761. The Guatemala ½ real is also the only example of Spanish colonial pillar coinage that omits the assayer's initial (should be P). Gilboy[1] notes this date as 'R2' or rare, with only 25-50 pieces extant.

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-05-9, KM#23.


  • Krause, Chester L., and Colin R. Bruce II, Standard Catalog of World Coins: Eighteenth Century 1701-1800, 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.

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