Mexico (1542-44)-M 2 maravedis

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Sedwick Treasure auction 27, lot 460

This specimen was lot 460 in Sedwick Treasure Auction 27 (Winter Park, FL, May 2020), where it sold for $10,710. The catalog description[1] noted, "Mexico City, Mexico, copper 2 maravedis, Charles-Joanna, "Late Series," no assayer (assayer-G period), M to right and left of castle and below pillar, king's name as CAROLVS, very rare, NGC F 15 BN, ex-Potomac Collection (stated on label), Nesmith Plate Coin, ex-Busser. First time we have offered a 2 maravedis from this mint and only the fifth example to come up for auction in the last fifteen years. Illustrated as both a photo and an engraving in Nesmith's reference. Legends mostly readable with HISPANIARVM ET INDIARVM on both sides, full inner details, particularly rare as corrosion-free, with darkly toned fields. NGC #4769829-002. From the Potomac Collection, also Plate Coin #2a in Nesmith's Coinage of the First Mint of the Americas at Mexico City 1536-1572 (1955), also pedigreed to the Busser collection and to the Superior auction of June 1974 (lot #2110)." This enigmatic and seldom seen type is difficult to attribute. Four maravedis are also known to exist. In the 1530's, it was the Spanish conquistadores' plan to mint gold and silver to send home to Spain and mint copper coins for the use of the natives. This was frustrated by the locals' adamant refusal to accept copper as money and the scheme was abandoned.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: copper, this specimen 3.13 grams.

Catalog reference: Nesmith-2a; Cal-15; KM-unl (cf 1.3), Cayón-2978.


  • Krause, Chester L., and Colin R. Bruce II, Standard Catalog of World Coins: Spain, Portugal and the New World, Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.
  • 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.
  • Calicó, Xavier, Numismática Española: Catálogo General con Precios de Todas las Monedas Españolas Acuñadas desde Los Reyes Católicos Hasta Juan Carlos I, 1474 a 2001, Barcelona: Aureo & Calicó, 2008.
  • Menzel, Sewall, Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins, New York: The American Numismatic Society, 2004.
  • [1]Sedwick, Daniel Frank, Augi Garcia and Cori Sedwick Downing, Treasure Auction 27, Winter Park, FL: Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC, 2020.

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