Mexico 1723-Mo J 8 reales

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Goldberg sale 46, lot 1084
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg
This specimen was lot 1084 in Goldberg sale 46 (Beverly Hills, May 2008), where it sold for $50,000 ($57,500 with buyer's fee). The catalog description[1] noted,

"Mexico. 'Royal' 8 Reales, Philip V, 1700-1746. Crowned Bourbon shield. Reverse: Cross quartering arms of Castile and Leon, within foliated tressure. Extraordinarily sharp, full strike on superb metal. Perfectly centered, on fully round flan. Artistic toning, with hints of colorful golds, russets, greens and steel blues. Extremely Rare. A marvelous example, perhaps the finest 'Royal' of any Spanish king! Superb. NGC graded AU-58.

"Philip V was the first Bourbon king of Spain. He was a Frenchman, formerly Duke of Anjou, and a grandson of Louis XIV. Chosen by the childless Charles II to succeed him, Philip was king of Spain from 1700-1746; he abdicated in January 1724 in favor of his son Louis, but when Louis died in August of the same year, Philip took the throne again. He introduced French ideas and institutions to the Spanish court and and was much influenced by both of his wives, Maria Luisa of Savoy (1701) and Isabella (Elizabeth) Farnese of Parma (1714). Isabella took complete control of her husband's policies and was, in turn, dominated by the chief minister, Cardinal Alberoni. The attempt by the queen and Alberoni to regain the territories in Italy lost by the Treaty of Utrecht led to the formation of the Quadruple Alliance of 1718, to which Spain was forced to submit in 1720. Much of Spain's foreign policy was governed by dynastic ambition. In the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), Naples and Sicily passed to Isabella and Philip's son, Don Carlos (later Charles III of Spain); in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48) Parma and Piacenza passed to Charles' younger brother Philip. Under Philip V, Spain began to recover from its economic stagnation, especially after Ensenada became chief minister in 1743 and virtually ruled the country. Ensenada tried to maintain peace and to regain Spanish independence through neutrality to both French and British policies. He instigated economic, fiscal, and administrative reforms which benefited the country. It was in large measure due to Ensenada that Philip was considered an 'enlightened despot.'

"The 'Royals' were struck on specially selected, round planchets with special dies - the dies not necessarily having the same designs and inscriptions as those coins of the same date and mintmark in the regular coinage. Some of the better specimens may have well been sent to Spain so that the king could see for himself what fine handiwork was being done at the various mints. Provenance: Illustrated in Money of the World, coin 149; Ex: 1975 ANA sale; Ex: F.C.C. Boyd collection."

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 27.07 g, .931 silver; this specimen: 26.85 grams.

Catalog reference: Cayón-9288, 1723-MO-J. WR-5; KM 47.


  • [1]Goldberg, Ira, and Larry Goldberg, Goldberg Sale 46: the Millenia Collection, Beverly Hills, CA: Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, 2008.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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