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(Philip V 1700-1747)









Mexico City 8 Escudos of 1714

 From the 1715 PLATE FLEET

M106. Viceroyalty of Nueva Espana, mint of Mexico City, 1714 J eight escudos. Date over GRAT variety, the second variety of 1714. Bold, clear 1714/GRAT, by far the best example of this rare and short-lived 1714 issue. Lustrous golden color, choice mint state, and very well struck.


The Mexico City mint began 1714, after the horrible production problems of 1713, with a redesign of its eight escudos. A new cross and tressure were introduced. The shield was simplified in several details, the mint mark shortened to oM from oXM, and the date transferred to the reverse in Spanish Peninsular style. After a short production run, the Date on Reverse experiment was deemed a failure--principally because almost all Date on Reverse onzas showed no date at all! The immediate remedy was to discard the dated cross die in favor of the standard cross die, but the dateless shield die was not discarded in favor of a new dated die at that point. Someone had the idea that the as-new shield die could be salvaged by engraving a 1714 date over GRAT in the legend. The Mexican mint talladors were tasked to do so. The unhappy result is before you. Within a very few strikes, the die began to fail at the point of re-engraving and 1714/GRAT became an illegible jumble of letters and digits. The 1714/GRAT die whad to be discarded.


This is by far the clearest example of the 1714/GRAT issues, which likely remained in  production for no more than a few hundred coins (if that). The GRA letters are fully visible, 1 directly over R, 7 just to the left of A. T sat between the final 1 and 4 and was mostly covered by the 4, which is already showing signs of failure.

About 9000 eight escudos were struck at Mexico City in 1714 from 4 shield and 5 cross dies. No production or delivery dates have yet been found that would allow us to pinpoint the exact size of the Date over GRAT issue, but it was a very small issue probably struck on a single day. It followed closely on the Date on Reverse design, which it unsuccessfully tried to revamp. It was immediately succeeded by a new "normal" shield die with 1714 in the usual place.


Collectors who would like to know more about the Date over GRAT issue and other 1714 varieties are invited to consult our study "Varieties of the 1714 Mexico City 8 Escudos", published in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of the US Mexican Numismatic Association. Copies available on request.


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