Mexico (1542-57) 4 reales

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Heritage sale 3064, lot 31303
Mexico H3064-31303r.jpg

This specimen was lot 31303 in Heritage sale 3064 (Chicago, April 2018), where it sold for $16,800. The catalog description[1] noted, "Very Rare Late Series 4 Reales Issue, Struck without Mintmark and Assayer Initial! Charles & Johanna "Late Series" 4 Reales ND (1542-57) AU50 NGC, Mexico City mint. An extremely rare issue, linked to the 'R' assayer due to the style of the dies, but struck without the mintmark or assayer initials that typically flank the shield design. Of the four of five believed extant, this is almost certainly the finest, with even brown tone over both sides, virtually full legends and centers that are impressively bold. Whether created as a trial or by mistake, it is undoubtedly one of the most numismatically important items in the entire series. Ex. Kent Ponterio Collection (Ponterio 8/2009 - Lot 9153) Selections from the Isaac Rudman Numismatic Cabinet." This type was not dated and the terms of service of the various assayers are still hotly disputed. In 1728, cobs were debased from .931 to .917 fine silver.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 13.53 grams, .931 fine silver, .405 troy oz ASW, this specimen 32 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: Cayón-unlisted, KM0018, Cal-Unl., Nesmith-Unlisted.


  • Krause, Chester L., and Colin R. Bruce II, Standard Catalog of World Coins: Spain, Portugal and the New World, Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.
  • 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.
  • Menzel, Sewall, Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins, New York: The American Numismatic Society, 2004.
  • [1]Cristiano Bierrenbach and Warren Tucker, Heritage World Coin Auction 3064, featuring the Doug Robins Collection of Canadian Tokens, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2018.

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