Guatemala 1808-NG M 8 reales KM 64

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Aureo sale 238, lot 97
This specimen was lot 97 in Aureo & Calicó sale 238 (Barcelona, November 2011), where it sold for 550 euro (about US$872 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"1808. Guatemala. M. 8 reales. Busto de Carlos IV. Bella. Parte de brillo original. Muy rara así. EBC+. (eight reales of 1808, Guatemala mint. Handsome, partial luster, very rare thus, choice extremely fine.)"
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. There are Guatemala eight reales with the proper bust of Ferdinand dated 1808 but these are 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: Cal. 456, KM 64.


  • Cayón, Adolfo, Clemente Cayón and Juan Cayón, Las Monedas Españolas, del Tremis al Euro: del 411 a Nuestros Dias, 2 volumes, 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.
  • [1]Sisó, Teresa, Eduardo Domingo and Lluís Lalana, Subasta Colleción Leunda, Barcelona: Aureo & Calicó Subastas Numismáticas, 2011.

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