Mexico 1738-Mo MF 4 reales
The first specimen was lot 9743 in Ponterio sale 151 (Baltimore, November 2009), where it sold for $253. The catalog description noted, "MEXICO. 4 Reales, 1738/7-MF. Toned PCGS VF-20." This is one of a series struck 1732-47 during the reign of Philip V (1700-46). Gilboy lists the date as "rare" (less than a hundred known to exist) with the overdate, 1738/7 (shown here) noted for the year.
The four reales is the scarcest colonial denomination although all dates are available except for the very rare 1732 and 1733 dates. Harris lists the Ferdinand VI pillar four reales in order of abundance: Mexico, Guatemala, Lima (scarce). Specimens in high grade are very rare.
Mexican numismatists hotly debate which side of the coin constitutes the obverse. Gilboy 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.
Specification: 13.54 g, .917 fine silver, .399 troy oz ASW.
Catalog reference: Cayón-9112 (overdate), Cayón-9113 (plain date), Gilboy M-4-10a, KM 94.
- 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.
- Ponterio, Richard, and Kent Ponterio, Ponterio sale 151: The 2009 Baltimore Auction, Irvine, CA: Bowers and Merena, 2009.