Guatemala 1808-NG M 8 reales KM-69

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Heritage sale 3030, lot 24423
Guatemala 1808 8 reales rev H3030-24423.jpg

This specimen was lot 24423 in Heritage sale 3030 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $4,406.25. The catalog description[1] noted, "Ferdinand VII 8 Reales 1808 NG-M, VF25 NGC. 'M' is for assayer Manuel Eusebio Sanchez. The very rare 1808 Ferdinand VII proper bust issue. This issue was struck in few numbers in 1811, upon receipt of the correct punches from Spain for the Ferdinand VII issues, following orders from the Viceroy of Nueva España in his Royal Ordinance dated April 10, 1808 (see Jose Toribio Medina: Las Monedas Coloniales Hispano Americanas, p. 48). All seen specimens of this very rare date seen by the cataloguer come from a single pair of dies, and no high grade specimens are reported. Better struck on the shield than the otherwise similar Haberthuer piece (SBC 1/1996, lot 2607), and comparable to the Calbeto plate coin (the discovery, ex Rafael Sabau specimen). KM lists a 'choice VF' specimen from the Superior 12/1990 sale sold for $13,000 (plus 10% commission). Ex. Mike Dunigan (11/1983 for $5,000). From The Isaac Rudman Collection of Guatemala Coins." In 1808, Charles IV abdicated in the face of popular unrest and his son, Ferdinand VII, was tricked by Napoleon into turning over the throne to Napoleon's brother Joseph. Colonial authorities, shocked by these events, acknowledged the first abdication but not the second. Unfortunately, Ferdinand, rotting in a French prison, was not available to have his portrait taken so mint officials in Guatemala used the old king's bust with the new king's name, as seen here. This followed the precedent set in 1789-91 when Charles III died. "Standard" or "proper" bust eight reales first appeared in 1811. This 1808 Guatemala eight reales with the proper bust of Ferdinand is very likely backdated. Assayer M is recorded for 1786-1823.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 27.07 g, .896 fine silver, .780 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: KM 69, Cal-455.


  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3030, featuring the RLM Collection, the Isaac Rudman Collection, the Hans Cook Collection and the Collection of Donald E. Bently, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.
  • Cayón, Adolfo, Clemente Cayón and Juan Cayón, Las Monedas Españolas, del Tremis al Euro: del 411 a Nuestros Dias, vol. 1, Madrid: Cayón-Jano S.L., 2005.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.

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