Spain 1856 4 reales 6 point star

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Aureo sale 233, lot 379
The specimen shown was lot 379 in Aureo y Calico sale 233 (Barcelona, April 2011), where it sold for 1700 euros (about US$2,831 including buyer's fee). The catalog description[1] noted,
"1856. Madrid. 4 reales. Pleno brillo original. Acuñación Proof. Excepcional. Rarísima así. FDC (Four reales de vellon, 1856, Madrid mint. Full mint luster, exceptional proof striking, extremely rare, uncirculated.)"
This type was struck in Barcelona, Madrid and Seville 1856-64. Instead of the traditional mintmarks the issues are distinguished by six, seven or eight pointed stars on the reverse (for Madrid, Seville and Barcelona). In 1850, the twenty reales was reduced to 26.91 grams and the copper maravedis dropped in favor of 1/20, 1/10 and 1/5 reales. Under the new system, this four reales was worth one fifth of a peso instead of the former half. Unfortunately, the government, financially prostrate as usual, was unable to remint the old coins, which continued to circulate as before. The coinage would be reformed a second time in 1866.

Recorded mintage: unknown but a tough date. The proofs are not mentioned in the SCWC.

Specification: 5.26 g, .900 fine silver, .152 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: Cayón-17034, KM 608.2, Cal-303.


  • 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.
  • [1]Sisó, Teresa, Eduardo Domingo and Lluís Lalana, COLECCIÓN ANASTASIA DE QUIROGA, Barcelona: Aureo y Calicó Subastas, 2011.
  • Krause, Chester L., and Colin R. Bruce II, Standard Catalog of World Coins: Spain, Portugal and the New World, Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.

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