Spain 1859 20 reales 6 point star

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Sincona sale 18, lot 3923
This specimen was lot 3923 in Sincona sale 18 (Zurich, May 2014), where it sold for CHF 425 (about US$560 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"20 Reales 1859. Madrid. Vorzüglich-FDC. (Spain, twenty reales of 1859, Madrid mint, extremely fine to uncirculated.)"
This Spanish twenty reales was part of the first decimal reform of 1850-64. In 1850, the twenty reales was reduced to 26.91 grams. This having proven unsatisfactory, the coinage was reformed again in 1864. The twenty reales was dropped in favor of a two escudos silver coin, reduced to 25.96 grams. One hundred centimos = one escudo. Instead of the traditional "M" and "S" mintmarks the issues are distinguished by three, four, six, seven or eight pointed stars on the reverse (for Segovia, Jubia, Madrid, Seville and Barcelona). Unfortunately, the government, financially prostrate as usual, was unable to remint the old coins, which continued to circulate as before.

Recorded mintage: unknown but a common date.

Specification: 26.91 g, .900 fine silver, .760 troy oz ASW, this specimen 25.86 g.

Catalog reference: Cayón-17215, KM 609.2, C.T. 172, Dav-334.


  • 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]Numismatic Coins, Medals, & Banknotes: Auction 18, Zurich: SINCONA AG, 2014.
  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.

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