Mexico (1542-44) 4 maravedis

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Goldberg sale 34, lot 2887
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg
from the Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale, lot 24302
photo courtesy Stack's-Bowers LLC

The first specimen was lot 2887 in Goldberg sale 34 (Beverly Hills, February 2006), where it sold for $345. The catalog description[1] noted, "Mexico. 4 Maravedis, ND. Copper. Charles and Johanna. Late series, 1542-1544. A few areas of striking weakness and edge cracks. Very Fine." The second specimen was lot 24302 in Stack's Bowers NYINC sale (New York, January 2018), where it sold for $168. The catalog description[2] noted, "MEXICO. Carlos & Johanna, Late Series. 4 Maravedis, ND (1516-55). PCGS Genuine--Environmental Damage, VG Details Secure Holder. Cal-Type 132 #203. Reasonably good legends and design detail." This enigmatic and seldom seen type is difficult to attribute. Two maravedis are also known to exist but are very rare. In the 1530's, it was the Spanish conquistadores' plan to mint gold and silver to send home to Spain and mint copper coins for the use of the natives. This was frustrated by the locals' adamant refusal to accept copper as money and the scheme was abandoned.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: copper.

Catalog reference: KM (Vogt)-3; Nes-7; Cal-212, Cayón-2987.


  • [1]Goldberg, Ira, and Larry Goldberg, Goldberg Sale 34: the pre-Long Beach sale, Beverly Hills, CA: Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, 2006.
  • [2]Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio, John Kraljevich and Cris Chatigny, The January 2018 NYINC Sale: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, featuring the Eldorado Collection of Colombian and Ecuadorian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2017.
  • 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
  • Menzel, Sewall, Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins, New York: The American Numismatic Society, 2004.
  • 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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