Mexico 1733-Mo MF 2 reales

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image courtesy Stack's Bowers

This 1733 two reales from the Mexico City mint is an example of the early design for pillar fractionals, where the obverse legend surrounds the periphery. In this variety of the 1733 date, the Mo mintmark is displayed, with assayers MF to the left of the shield. Gilboy[1] lists this variety as very rare, though the most 'common' variety for 1733. This specimen was lot 454 in Stack's Bowers Winter 2014 Baltimore sale, where it sold for $822. The catalog description[2] noted, "MEXICO. 2 Reales, 1733-MoMF. Philip V (1700-46). NGC FINE-12. VERY RARE date. Pellets above and below assayer. Toned. NGC FINE-12. From the David Gray Collection. Purchased Private Treaty from Pat Johnson October 1996."

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: 6.77 grams, 0.917 fine silver, 0.200 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: Cayón-8827, KM-84; Cal-type-215#1276; Gil-M-2-5a.


  • [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.
  • [2]Ponterio, Richard, and Kent Ponterio, Stack's Bowers Galleries, The Winter 2014 Baltimore Auction Baltimore, MD: Stack's Bowers, 2014.
  • 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.

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