Guatemala 1768-G P 4 Reales

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from the Acanthite collection
from the Acanthite collection

Shown is a 1768 four reales from the Guatemala mint, of a type issued 1760-71. All pillar coinage from Guatemala is scarce and many issues are rare. Gilboy[1] notes this date as "C" or "common", indicating that it is fairly available. However, for 1768 Gilboy notes six varieties, all of which concern differences in the placement of the design elements. This particular coin, with J replacing the I in HISPAN, is not listed. Assayer "P" is noted for the years 1759-85. Unlike the other colonial mints, Guatemala seems to have issued more four reales than any other denomination. Gilboy marks the half, one and two reales as "rare" and the eight reales as "scarce" to "normal." None are marked as common. Guatemala issues are notably cruder than other mints.

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.

Specification: 13.53 g, .917 fine silver, .399 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: G-4-17, KM 26.

Sources:

  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [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.

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