Mexico 1764-Mo MF 4 escudos

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Heritage sale 3041, lot 31204
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries
This specimen was lot 31204 in Heritage sale 3041 (Chicago, August 2015), where it sold for $30,550. The catalog description[1] noted,
"The Only Confirmed Example of the 1764 Rat-Nose 4 Escudos, Ex. Medina, Norweb. Charles III gold 4 Escudos 1764 Mo-MF AU50 NGC, Mexico City mint, About Uncirculated with only mild high-point wear, pleasant surface quality and most-attractive old patina. The strike is a tad soft on the bust, yet actual wear is in fact very limited. The only example of the date confirmed by the cataloguer - the Wayte Raymond listing of this date very probably refers to this, the Medina plate coin - and among the finest seen on the entire type. A significant rarity, and graced by a long and legendary pedigree. Ex. Medina Collection (plated on page 95 as No. 75 in Medina's 1919 work "Las Monedas Coloniales Hispanoamericanas"); ex. Norweb Collection (Dallas Christie's 5/1985, lot 83)

An Unprecedented Offering of the Very Rare Mexico "Rat-Nose" 4 Escudos Issues of Charles III. When researching the Charles II rat-nose 4 Escudos minted in Mexico City, several facts become immediately clear, all of which point to a general rarity of the entire issue.

Main references (KM, Calico, the Onza reference book) only list generic (and comparatively high) values for the entire type, being unable to distinguish between any of the dates. In addition, old references list only a handful of specimens: the legendary Vidal Quadras holdings included only one date (1768, see # 10196 in his 1892 work Catalogo de la Coleccion Vidal Quadras y Ramon), the also legendary collection of Jose Toribio Medina included only two dates (the 1764 and 1768, see pages 95 in his 1919 Monedas Coloniales Hispanomericanas work), while the less know, yet similarly important Carles Torla group housed but one (the 1771, See # 1619 in Plate 79 of his 1936 Coleccion de Emilio Carles Torla work). Moreover, the several legendary cabinets that have been dispersed in the past 30 years (Norweb, Gerber, Eliasberg, Caballero de las Yndias, and Huntington) housed a combined total of five specimens, some of which are the same of the aforementioned old references (the Norweb coin is the ex-Medina coin for example). And lastly, renowned institutional cabinets hold but a combined handful of specimens: the American Numismatic Society collection lacks the type entirely, as does the British Museum, and only the extensive Banco de Mexico collection holds a - remarkable - three different dates: one example each from 1766, 1768 and 1769.

It is thus clearly seen that the type is extremely rare since the aforementioned census of known pieces among iconic public and private collections yielded a total of eight (8) specimens! It has therefore, justifiably, been long-considered as one of the key types of the entire gold Mexican series.

Now for the astonishing fact: the present offering of the Rudman collection includes 8 different varieties of the type, lacking only the final 1771 date and including one possibly unique coin! In addition, the condition is quite remarkable, including no less than three examples certified as AU50 or better and the current finest representative of the type. Needless to say, such a public offering is unprecedented and unlikely to ever be duplicated again. It will doubtlessly be remembered as one of the landmark sections in the entire Isaac Rudman collection and the numismatic community will surely recognize its significance. From The Rudman Collection of Mexican Coins."

All Mexican colonial gold may be considered scarce. This type, the second showing the "rat nose" bust of Charles III, was struck 1762-71 only. Despite the extended years of production, it is very scarce.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 13.53 g, .917 fine gold, .399 troy oz AGW.

Catalog reference: Cayón-12589, KM 141, Cal-320.


  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World & Ancient Coins Auction 3041, featuring the Eric Beckman Collection of Canadian Coins, the Kaiser Collection of German Gold Coins and the Rudman Collection of Mexican Coins, Part I, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2015.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • 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.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.

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