Mexico (1810)-Ca 8 reales

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Ponterio sale 164. lot 2711
photo courtesy Stack's-Bowers LLC
This specimen was lot 2711 in Ponterio sale 164 (New York, January 2012), where it sold for $4,600. The catalog description[1] noted,
"MEXICO. Chihuahua. 8 Reales, 1805 (produced in 1810?). Extremely RARE and Apparently Unpublished Chihuahua Prototype 8 Reales. Colonial milled edge. Ferdinand VII (in the name of Charles IIII) (1808-21). This seemingly unpublished War of Independence issue posses[ses] several interesting questions. Clearly genuine and consistent with the series produced in Chihuahua during this period. However, there are several very interesting and quite dramatic differences. For instance, most cast Chihuahua issues of this type are produced using an armored bust 8 Reales of Ferdinand VII as a mother coin to prepare a casting mold. This coin is very unusual in that the coin used to prepare the casting mold was an 8 Reales of Charles IIII. Normally alterations were made prior to casting, such as changing the date, mint mark and assayer’s letters to signify the issue was a product of Chihuahua. None of these changes were made for this coin. The final process of production included the addition of a colonial milled edge and countermarking. This coin clearly contains the proper official countermarks as well as a very well made colonial edge. However, it is absent of the alterations to the date, assayer and mint mark. The failure to make appropriate alterations to the date and mint mark as well as the early nature of the mother coin pose questions as to when and where exactly this issue fits in the cast Chihuahua series. Seemingly the most plausible explanation is that it fits at the beginning of the series and is somewhat of a prototype for the cast coinage of Chihuahua. The early nature of the mother coin as well as the lack of alterations suggests it's placement in 1810, just prior to the production of the regular issue cast coinage. EXTREMELY RARE, unpublished, and the only example of this bizarre and intriguing War of Independence issue this cataloger has seen. Somewhat crude cast, as usual for issues of Chihuahua. Minor deposits, toned. VERY FINE."

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 27.07 g, .896 fine silver, this specimen 23.81 gms.

Catalog reference: KM-unlisted (see KM-123 for basic type); Cal-unlisted(see 89 for basic type); EL-unlisted (see page 199 for basic type).


  • Harris, Robert P., Pillars & Portraits, San José, CA: Bonanza Press, 1968.
  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Ponterio sale 164: The January 2012 N.Y.I.N.C. Auction, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2011.

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