Jamaica (1758) 5 pence

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photo courtesy Heritage Auctions
photo courtesy Heritage Auctions

The island of Jamaica was captured by the British in 1655, and formally ceded to them in 1670 by the Treaty of Madrid. Foreign silver abounded in this colony rich in sugar and wealth pirated offshore. In 1758 the Jamaican legislature authorized the countermarking of all denominations of Spanish colonial pillar reales, mostly from Mexico City and Lima. The countermark consists of the letters GR (George Rex)[1]. Effort appears to have been made to center the counterstamps but did not always succeed.

This example was lot 21317 at the 2009 May Long Beach, CA Signature World & Ancient Coin Auction #3005 by Heritage Auctions and sold on May 29, 2009 for $805. the catalog description reads: "British Colony 5 Pence Counterstamp of 1758, "GR" countermark on a Peru pillar 1/2 Real 1758, XF40 NGC, very nicely toned, scarce in this pleasing quality."

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 1.65g of 0.917 fine silver.

Catalog reference: KM 1.3.


  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • [1]Byrne, Ray, Coins, Tokens, & Medals from the West Indies, Jess Peters, Inc, auction catalog - Sale #78, June 13-15, 1975.

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