Sonora 1861 1/4 real

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
Sonora 1861 cuartilla rev DSLR.jpg
from the San Dimas Collection
Sonora 1861 cuartilla rev JS.jpg
from Goldberg sale 93, lot 2256
Mexico G93-2256r.jpg

The first specimen is an unusually nice example of a copper quarter real from the state of Sonora, struck 1859-63. The third specimen was lot 2256 in Goldberg sale 93 (Los Angeles, September 2016), where it sold for $764. The catalog description[3] noted, "Mexico - Sonora. 1/4 Real, 1861/59 PCGS AU58 BR. First Republic. The sole finest graded and the only about uncirculated example in NGC census for the entire series. PCGS graded AU-58 Brown." While the central government of Mexico reserved for itself the right to strike gold and silver, the states were permitted to strike the base metal coinage, a right which they exploited to the utmost. These coins could be minted and issued at a profit, a fact not lost on cash-strapped state governments. As these were to be quickly and cheaply made and forced upon a long-suffering populace, little effort was expended to make them nice; most survivors are poorly struck on badly prepared planchets and heavily worn. Counterfeits abounded and contributed to the abuse. See Buttrey and Hubbard[1] or Bailey[2] for more information.

Today, state coppers are avidly collected. They are very challenging to find in nice condition and high grade examples are beginning to realize prices proportionate to their rarity.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: copper.

Catalog reference: KM 365.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • [1] Buttrey, T. V., and Clyde Hubbard, A Guide Book of Mexican Coins, 1822 to date, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1992.
  • [2]Bailey, Don, State & Federal Copper and Brass Coinage of Mexico, 1824-1872, Hemet, CA, 2008.
  • [3]Goldberg, Ira, Larry Goldberg, John Lavender, Yifu Che, Jason Villareal and Stephen Harvey, Goldberg Sale 93: the Pre-Long Beach Auction, Los Angeles: Goldberg Coins and Collectibles, 2016.

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