Mexico 1733-Mo MF 1/2 real

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from Stack's Bowers 2017 NYINC sale, lot 3122
Mexico SB117-3122r.jpg

This specimen was lot 3122 in Stack's Bowers NYINC sale (New York, January 2017), where it sold for $2,530. The catalog description[2] noted, "MEXICO. 1/2 Real, 1733/2-MF. Philip V (1700-46). NGC AU-53. RARE early issue of milled silver from Mexico. Clear overdate which is unlisted in most references and even the first three shows some traces of re-engraving. Pleasing in appearance with mild wear to the globes and pillars as the only signs of handling. Strong original luster under medium toned surfaces which show warm pastel hues as highlights. A very nice example which is sure to enhance any collection of Columnarios." This 1733 half real from the Mexico City mint is an example of the first design for pillar fractionals, where the obverse legend surrounds the periphery. This design was changed in 1742 to allow the crown to extend to the rim (see the 1743 ½ real). For this date, there are several types, including both the standard Mo mintmark and MX mintmark (this example is the first type), and with both MF and F as assayers.

Mexican numismatists hotly debate which side of the coin constitutes the obverse. Gilboy[1] depicts the shield side as the obverse as that side bears the king's name. However, auction catalogs and dealer listings more frequently use the pillars and globes side as the obverse, as that side bears the date.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 1.67 grams, 0.917 fine silver, 0.049 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: Cayón-8240, KM-65; Cal-Type 290 #1854; Gil-M-05-6.

Sources:

  • [1]Gilboy, Frank F., The Milled Columnarios of Central and South America: Spanish American Pillar Coinage, 1732 to 1772, Regina, Saskatchewan: Prairie Wind Publishing, 1999.
  • 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.
  • Yonaka, Brad, A Variety Guide to the Fractional Pillar Coinage of Mexico City, 1732-1771, Long Beach, CA: Agorocu Consulting, 2017.
  • Harper, David C., ed., North American Coins & Prices: A Guide to U. S., Canadian and Mexican Coins, 17th Ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2007.
  • Harris, Robert P., Pillars & Portraits, San José, CA: Bonanza Press, 1968.
  • [2]Ponterio, Richard, The January 2017 NYINC Sale: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, featuring the Richard Stuart Collection, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2016.

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