Spain 1823-M SR 320 reales

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Heritage sale 3042, lot 30636
Spain H3042-30636r.jpg

This specimen was lot 30636 in Heritage sale 3042 (Long Beach, September 2015), where it sold for $6,462.50. The catalog description[1] noted, "Ferdinand VII gold 320 Reales 1823 M-SR AU58 PCGS, Madrid mint. Well detailed and highly lustrous with scant high-point wear preventing the Mint state designation and a few non-distracting handling marks on the obverse. The rare final date of this very scarce two-year type, and a coin of great importance since effectively the last struck to the 8 Escudos standard. Very elusive and most desirable in this fine preservation." This denomination was introduced into Spain by Napoleon's brother Joseph in 1810. It is the same size and weight as the old eight escudos but the prevailing anarchy and scarcity of bullion prevented many from being struck. It was accompanied by a four escudos sized 160 reales. When the Bourbons were restored, they continued to strike this denomination 1822-23. The obverse legend refers to king Ferdinand, "by the grace of God and the Constitution," a constitution he was compelled to grant and which he violated at every opportunity. His despotic rule combined that incompetence and brutality later displayed by countless Latin American dictators.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 27.07 g, .875 fine gold, .760 troy oz AGW.

Catalog reference: Cayón-16510, Fr-319, KM 566, Onza-1244.


  • 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.
  • 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]Cristiano Bierrenbach, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World Coin Auction 3042, featuring the Read and Bob Bennett Collections, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2015.
  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.

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