Spain 1759-M J 1/2 escudo

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Aureo sale 232, lot 1248
photo courtesy Daniel F. Sedwick, LLC
from Stack's Bowers 2016 ANA sale, lot 21515
Spain SB816-21515r.jpg
The first specimen shown was lot 1248 in Aureo y Calico sale 232 (Barcelona, March 2011), where it sold for 148 euros (about $244 including buyer's fee). The catalog description[1] noted,
"Fernando VI (1746-1759). 1759. Madrid. J. 1/2 escudo. Golpecito. MBC-. (Ferdinand VI, 1746-59, half escudo of 1759, Madrid mint, rim nick, very fine.)
The second specimen was lot 212 in Sedwick sale 10 (Winter Park, FL, October 2011), where it sold for $287.50. The catalog description[2] noted, "Madrid, Spain, bust 1/2 escudo, Ferdinand VI, 1759J. XF with luster in legends, very nice." The third specimen was lot 21515 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Anaheim, CA, August 2016), where it sold for $1,880. The catalog description[3] noted, "SPAIN. 1/2 Escudo, 1759-JB. Madrid Mint. Ferdinand VI (1746-59). NGC MS-65. Last year for the type with Ferdinand VI. His wife Barbara died in August of the previous year, and it is said the king wandered aimlessly in his gardens unshaven and in nightgown until his own death in August of the year this piece was struck. Death from a broken heart it would seem. A stunning reminder of his last year, the coin presented here is in spectacular GEM BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED condition. Bright radiant surfaces with a sharp strike and a complete absence of marks." This type was struck in Madrid 1748-59 (KM 378) and Seville 1747-59 (KM 374) and is not especially rare tho choice specimens are always in demand. Half escudos were struck in metropolitan Spain 1738-97 in considerable numbers and are quite a bit more common than their silver equals, the eight reales. This is opposite from Latin America, where silver pesos were minted in vast quantities but half escudos would not be minted until the reign of Ferdinand VII. Assayer J is listed for 1759; the initial may be a transition between assayer JB (1747-59) and JP (1759-64).

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 1.69 g, .917 fine gold, .049 troy oz AGW; the second specimen 1.8 grams.

Catalog reference: Cayón-10689, Fr-274; KM-378; Cal-Type-72#257, Cal-258.


  • 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, Selección de 500 Monedas, Medallas y Billetes, Barcelona: Aureo y Calicó Subastas, 2011.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 9th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2017.
  • [2]Sedwick, Daniel F., Augi Garcia and Cori Sedwick Downing, Treasure Auction #10, Winter Park, FL: Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, 2011.
  • [3]Ponterio, Richard, The August 2016 Anaheim ANA Auction: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2016.

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