Mexico 1770-Mo MF 4 reales

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
Mexico 1770 4 reales rev DSLR.jpg
Heritage sale 3016, lot 24693
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This is one of a series struck 1760-71 during the reign of Charles III (1759-88). Gilboy[1] lists the date as scarce (the only date for 1762-71 not listed as "rare") with no varieties recorded. The second specimen was lot 24693 in Heritage sale 3016 (New York, January 2012), where it sold for $1,092.50. The catalog description[3] noted, "Carlos III Pillar 4 Reales 1770-MF, AU50 NGC, lightly toned with well-struck features, scarce in this grade." The four reales is the scarcest colonial denomination although all dates are available except for the very rare 1732 and 1733 dates. Harris[2] lists the Charles III pillar four reales in order of abundance: Mexico, Potosi, Guatemala, Lima (scarce), Santiago (very rare). Specimens in high grade are very rare.

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: 13.54 g, .917 fine silver, .399 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: Gilboy M-4-45, KM 96.

Source:

  • [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.
  • Yonaka, Brad, A Variety Guide to the Fractional Pillar Coinage of Mexico City, 1732-1771, Long Beach, CA: Agorocu Consulting, 2017.
  • [2]Harris, Robert P., Pillars & Portraits, San José, CA: Bonanza Press, 1968.
  • Harper, David C., ed., North American Coins & Prices: A Guide to U. S., Canadian and Mexican Coins, 17th Ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2007.
  • [3]Tucker, Warren, Cristiano Bierrenbach and Scott Cordry, Heritage sale 3016, World and Ancient Coins, Dallas: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2011.

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