Carlos III (1759-88)
Portrait 8 Reales (1772- 1825)
In 1770 Carlos III decided to again revamp the types of his silver coinage. The royal bust, hitherto reserved for gold coinage, now would grace the obverse of his reales. An odd amalgam of pillar and shield design now became the reverse type. The Bust coinage was launched with some atypical co-ordination by all the active New World mints in 1772. It lasted for about 50 years until, under the inept and harsh reign of Fernando VII, the New World colonies broke from Spain and became independent. Royalist coinage ceased at the Mexican mints 1821-23. Lima and Potosi finally ceased in 1824 and 1825 respectively.
PR7. POTOSI. 8 Reales. 1774 JR. Choice mint state and deep cameo proof-like.
A superb example of a Carlos III 8 reales, and a very lucky survivor
of the massacres of the Great Aymara Rebellion of 1780. Low mintage,
scarce date struck in the year after Potosi finally stopped striking cobs.
NGC "1774PTS Bolivia 8R MS 63 3158901-013'
This Potosi 8 reales, looking so much like a modern silver proof, provokes some aesthetic reflections before I discuss its history. Many of us come to our Spanish Colonial studies having begun by collecting series like US silver dollars. In collecting Seated and Morgan US dollars, we learned to prize the deep mirror, frosted device look (called DMPLs). It gives an essentially two-dimensional coin 3D depth and life and spectacular eye-appeal. Fortunately and perhaps surprisingly, the same DMPL look exists on a few 18th Spanish Colonial coins. Personally I find this look irresistible, and I suspect that more and more collectors will come to agree me. DMPL US silver coins justly command large multiples over similar non-prooflike coins. For now, if you can find these rare and beautiful DMPL Spanish Colonial 8 reales, the premium for them is very modest.
The term "boldly struck" is sometimes loosely used, but here is an opportunity to demonstrate what it means it for a Portrait 8 reales. Though my photos aren't quite sharp enough, with the naked eye you can see every individual stone, including the capstone in the castle just above. The individual strands of the lion's mane are sharp and in high relief. Every letter of PLUS ULTRA is sharp and deep. On the observe, in the laurel bust Carlos III is wearing you see individual detail in every leaf. Every detail of his face and hair are in full relief. When someone says "boldly struck", this is the detail you should expect to see.
This 1774 Potosi 8 reales sports an engaging if tragic history. It was found in a small pot nearly 40 years ago in a field near Potosi, Bolivia. Field burials in a pot are a classic sign of an "emergency hoard." People who are fleeing for their lives often cannot or dare not take all their wealth with them. They bury their treasure in a field and hope to return one day and recover it. The Spaniards who buried this hoard in 1780 never returned. Thousands were butchered in the Great Aymara Rebellion that began in the Fall of 1780 and lasted two years. The pot contained a small group of Potosi two and eight reales dated 1774-1778. Of the 1774 8 reales recovered, this is by far the most attractive that I've seen.
Available. Price on request.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-595-1293
PR9. Potosi. 8 Reales. 1822 PJ. Lustrous mint state, well struck with proof-like
fields especially on the reverse. From the Arequipa Hoard (as noted
on the holder) and one the choicest Potosi 8 reales from that emergency
hoard discovered in 2007. NGC "1822 PTS PJ Bolivia 8R Arequipa Hoard AU 55
As students of the early Peruvian Republic know, there were a half dozen insurgencies and counter-insurgencies in the period 1827-1835, one of the which was the occasion for this emergency hoard. Arequipa did not summit willingly to the dictatorships of the "liberators" and suffered militarily for its stance. The Arequipa Hoard contains both royal and early republican issues. Surprisingly some of the earlier royal issues like this 1822 are in the best condition. NGC, probably misunderstanding die polishing lines that contribute to its PL appearance, has blundered in calling this mint state survivor an AU 55. That blunder will save a collector who wants a choice mint state Arequipa 8 reales about $1000!
Available. Price on request
email@example.com or 480-595-1293
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