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My World Crown Affair

Category:  World Coins
Owner:  jgenn
Last Modified:  5/27/2022
Set Description
16th--19th century crowns from many different nations. Some scarce and important issues are featured. Originally, I had not intended to add 19th century examples but by including them I am able to greatly broaden the geographic representation of nations/issuing authorities. All of these examples were real, historic currencies issued for circulation.

For the purpose of this set, I am defining the term crown as a coin from any nation and with any denomination that falls in the range of 36mm to 42mm in diameter and 25g up to 32g weight. These will generally conform to silver standards of the times of around 90% silver. We are talking about coins that were mostly used for trade as opposed to typical circulation. At this period in time, international commerce was conducted in silver and greatly standardized by the most popular silver crowns.

Centuries represented: 16th (7 examples), 17th (12 examples), 18th (17 examples), 19th (23 examples)

Crown Types (subtypes): crown ("Ormond"), krone, daalder (Philipsdaalder), thaler (Joachimsthaler, "Stampfer" thaler, Brillenthaler, "Hogmouth" thaler, siege thaler, Maria Theresa thaler, city view thaler, kronenthaler), 8 reales (macuquina, hookneck, counterstamped, overstruck), écu, scudo, rouble, daler (speciedaler, riksdaler), dollar (dala, trade dollar), ducaton, pezza della rosa, piastre, 30 tari, 960 reis, coroa, 10 dirhams, 5 shillings, 7 tien, 7 mace 2 candareens, yuzluk, yen, birr, ryal, riyal, 2 baht, 5 mark, venezolano.

Nations/issuing authorities represented by region:
[Europe] Austria, Bohemia, Commonwealth of England, Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Hungary, Transylvania, German States, Italian States, France, Spain, Portugal, Swiss cantons, Poland, Monaco, Malta, Ragusa, Spanish Netherlands, Austrian Netherlands, Dutch Republic, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Russia (from the Moscow mint)

[Americas] Argentina, Brazil (Portuguese colonial) , Bolivia (Spanish colonial), Chile, Peru/South Peru, Colombia (Gran Colombia), Guatemala (CAR mint), Mexico, United States of America, Hawai'i, Venezuela.

[Asia] Ottoman Empire, China, Hong Kong, Japan, India (Bombay mint), Dutch East Indies/Java, French Indochina, New Guinea (German colony), Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam.

[Africa] Morocco, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, South African Republic, Zanzibar

What's missing?: Many options would be repetitive but a few world crowns could be added that would be in keeping with the set's theme. Several South and Central American countries, for which I have rolled under Spanish colonial or early republics, issued silver pesos that were crown sized, although weighing only 25g. Crowns minted for circulation in colonies, such as the Philippines peso of 1897, Puerto Rico peso of 1895 and a few minted for African colonies could be included although these generally lack any local flavor. To broaden the scope of centuries, the guldengroschen of 1486 would be an excellent addition, but probably not likely due to its difficulty of acquisition.

UPDATE 2021: I was quite surprised to win the Best World Custom Set award for 2020. Although, I worked hard to pull many together for the set I knew there were several important exemplars from a few countries that I had yet to acquire. However, 2021 has been a veritable feast of scarce world crowns coming to market and I have so many great coins to add to my set that I have fallen behind in my updates. My goal for 2022 will be to polish up this set with these new acquisitions.

UPDATE 2022: I have added/upgraded several more crowns to the set and by including 25g examples from the Latin Monetary Union and similar issues from the late 19th century, I can expand to even more countries.

Set Goals
Eclectic pre-20th century world crowns from as many different nations as possible.

Slot Name
Item Description
Full Grade
Owner Comments
View Coin 16th Cent, Spanish Netherlands Philipsdaalder NETHERLANDS - TO 1600 ECU 1558 SPANISH Netherland FLANDERS BRUGES DAV-8645 NGC XF 40 This type of crown is known as a Philipsdaalder for the portrait of Philip II on the obverse and the size and weight of this silver coin that is similar to the size of the popular daalder coin of the Dutch provinces. However, at 41-42mm and 32-34g it more closely matches a ducaton, although its silver content is less. Of note is the display of Philip II's title that includes King of England. See

Obverse: Armored bust of Philip II, legend PHS D G HISP ANG Z REX COMES FLAN 1558 (Philippus dei gratia Hispaniarum Angliae etc rex comes Flandriae -- Philip by the grace of God King of Spain and England, Count of Flanders)

Reverse: Crowned coat of arms of Philip II over the Burgundian cross, golden fleece below between a pair of fire irons emitting sparks, legend DOMINVS MICHI ADIVTOR (dominus michi adivtor -- Lord my helper)

NGC encapsulated coin from a Heritage Weekly World and Ancient Coin Auction, January 2019.
View Coin 16th Cent, Bohemia Joachimsthaler Bohemia & Moravia TALER 1560 AUSTRIA JOACHISTRAL DAV-8047 NGC VF 35 One of my oldest coins is a Joachimsthaler. These earliest thalers were first minted in 1518 near St. Joachim's Valley, Bohemia, in what is now the Czech Republic. The moniker "thaler" comes from the word "thal" that meant valley in German. Its consistent size, weight and fineness of silver content was a boon to trade and set the standard for silver coins for 400 years.

My example was minted in 1560 during the reign of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, Archduke of Austria, King of Hungary and Croatia and King of Bohemia. His crowned and armored image, bearing a scepter is depicted on the obverse. The reverse shows Ferdinand's coat of arms. These were roughly 40 mm, 28 g and 90% silver.

Slabbed purchase from Jay Bullock in May of 2015. ex Taler Universe
View Coin 16th Cent, Swiss Canton of Zurich "Stampfer" thaler SWITZERLAND - TO 1600 TALER (c.1560) Switzerlnd ZURICH DAV-8783A PCGS AU 53 Known as a Stampfer thaler for the mintmaster Hans Jakob Stampfer. In the middle of the 16th century, Zürich had so much silver, it needed two mintmasters to process them. The other mintmaster at the time, Hans Gutenson, used the traditional way of hammering the coinage. Stampfer, introduced milling and the roller press, one of the earliest uses of this technology for producing coins.

ex Redwood Collection, Part II
View Coin 16th Cent, Scotland ryal SCOTLAND - TO 1603 RYAL 1567 S-5472 JAMES VI (29.99g) NGC VF 30 The ryal was the silver crown sized coin of the Kingdom of Scotland, 41mm and 30g, equivalent to 30 shillings. This example is the first issue of the reign of James VI, just an infant at the time, coming in the year that his mother Mary, Queen of the Scots, was deposed. The legend on the reverse, PRO.ME.SI.MEREOR.IN.ME is an abbreviation of the command that Roman Emperor Trajan gave in reference to the drawn sword -- "use this for me or against me, according as I deserve". Its placement on this coin alludes to the people's right to remove a tyrannical monarch. James would later inherit the thrones of England and Ireland on the death of Elizabeth I in 1603.
View Coin 16th Cent, Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Brillenthaler GERMANY - TO 1600 TALER 1588 BRUNSWICK-WOLFENBUTTEL DAV-9067 NGC XF 45 The design of this coin is amazingly rich in symbolism with the galloping Saxon steed escaping from bondage and the magnificently hairy wildman bearing a tree in one hand and a lit candle on the other while an hourglass, surmounted by a skull and dangling spectacles hangs from one arm. The nickname for this type, "Brillenthaler" comes from the German word for spectacles.
View Coin 16th Cent, Spain 8 reales SPAIN - TO 1600 8R 1589 SEGOVIA NGC AU 55 Philip II (1556--1598), early milled 8 reales, minted in Segovia, Spain. The obverse shows the crowned coat of arms of Spain at the time, with Portugal included, as the Spanish monarch held the Portuguese crown from 1581-1640. To the left of the arms is a two story aqueduct, the mint mark of Segovia. To the right is the denomination in Roman numerals, VIII. On the reverse is the quartered arms of Castille and León, with date above.

The city of Segovia is known for its impressive Roman aqueduct, which features in its coat of arms and its mintmark. Segovia's second mint, known as the "Royal Mint", was different from all other Spanish mints because it was owned by the Royal family and it was the only fully mechanized mint from its founding in 1585 to the introduction of the screw press in the 1700s. The Royal Mint operated roller presses powered by a waterwheel. The presses were a gift to Philip II from his cousin, Ferdinand, the Archduke of Tyrol, and were constructed for him in Hall.
View Coin 16th Cent, Transylvania thaler HUNGARY - TO 1600 TALER 1593 TRANSYLVANIA DAV-8802 NGC AU 55 Sigismund Báthori / Báthori Zsigmond (1581-1602), Nagybánya mint.
View Coin 17th Cent, Teutonic Order thaler GERMANY - TALERS TALER 1603 TEUTONIC ORDER DAV-5848 NGC AU 58 At the beginning of the 17th century, the lands held by the Teutonic Order had diminished greatly from their zenith in the 15th century and their remaining possession were in the Holy Roman Empire. At this time this thaler was issued their Grand Master was Maximilian III, Archduke of Austria. Maximilian stood for election to the Kingdom of Poland but lost to Sigismund III Vasa, prince of Sweden. He attempted to take control through military conquest but was forced to surrender. Minted in Hall.
View Coin 17th Cent, Poland thaler POLAND - TO 1668 TALER 1628 II DAV-4316 NGC VF 30 Zygmunt III Vasa, 1589-1632. Mintmaster Jakub Jacobson van Emden, with bull's head shield of the treasurer Hormolaus Lipezy beneath the obverse bust.
View Coin 17th Cent, Piacenza scudo ITALY - PRE- NAPOLEONIC SCUDO 1629 PIACENZA DAV-4128 NGC XF 45 This 1629 Scudo of Odoardo Farnese, the Duke of Parma and Piacenza, from 1622 - 1646 was one of my first world crowns I collected that was beyond the scope of my 8 reales collections.

Raw coin purchased from Coin Kingdom in February of 2014.
View Coin 17th Cent, France écu FRANCE - PART 2 ECU 1642A PCGS AU 55 Kingdom of France écu, Louis XIII, 1642, Paris mint.

The crown equivalent of the Kingdom of France was the écu d'argent. Écu, scudo and escudo all derive from the Latin scutum, meaning shield. The silver écu was minted from 1641 to the French Revolution when it was replaced by the 5 franc.
View Coin 17th Cent, Ireland "Ormond" crown IRELAND 1603-1823 CROWN (1643-44) S-6544 ORMONDE MONEY (29.71g) NGC F 12 There may not be a true silver crown of an independent Ireland. The closest that I have uncovered would be the silver crown, presumably issued by the Catholic Confederacy of Kilkenny, in 1642-43, although the few examples that appear in auction sales appear to be less than 25g in weight. These coins are also quite rare. The next closest example of an Irish silver crown, which I was able to acquire, might just be the "Ormond" crown of the same time (1643-1644), issued by the Earl of Ormond, James Butler, commander of the royalist army in Ireland. At least it is a silver crown sized coin (my example is 29.71g), most likely minted in Dublin, and during the time when there was an independent government that controlled two-thirds of the island. This brief period of independence would end in 1653 with the occupation and annexation of Ireland by the Commonwealth of England.

Obverse design, crowned CR for King Charles I. Reverse V with a small S above for denomination of 5 shillings.
View Coin 17th Cent, Monaco scudo MONACO SCUDO 1655 DAV-4307 NGC F 12 Here is a crown of the Principality of Monaco from 1655. It is variously called a scudo, as are the crowns of its Italian neighbors, or an écu of 60 sols in alignment with its very close neighbor, France. The reigning monarch, at the time of this coin's issue, was Honoré II, Prince of Monaco from 1604 to 1662, of the Grimaldi family -- the line which continues to rule Monaco to this day.
View Coin 17th Cent, Potosí macuquina 8 reales BOLIVIA - COLONIAL 8R 1657P E Espinola Collection (27.60g) NGC VF Details This Spanish colonial 8 reales macuquina, also know as a cob, is from the Potosí mint in Alto Perú (Upper Peru), which would be renamed Bolivia in honor of the general and political leader Simón Bolívar. So this coin represents an important type of hammered coinage and is a stand-in for the nation of Bolivia.
View Coin 17th Cent, Commonwealth crown ENGLAND 1603-1707 6P (1660-62) England BULL-274 ESC-1507 PCGS VF 20 1658 crown of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, a single year issue as he died that September. The crown is noted for its high strike quality due to the mechanized milling and press process introduced by Pierre Blondeau, former engineer of the Paris mint. The dies were produced by the Royal Mint's chief engraver, Thomas Simon.

Cromwell ascended to this position, king in all but name, from his distinguished service in the Parliamentarian army during the English Civil War. The resignation of Lord Fairfax, lord general of the army, who opposed the execution of Charles I, left Cromwell at the head of the most powerful faction of the new republic in 1649. He assumed full control with the title of Lord Protector in 1653. At his death, his eldest son assumed the title but could not maintain the military dictatorship. Charles II gained the throne in 1660, ending this brief period of England without a monarch.
View Coin 17th Cent, Munster siege thaler GERMANY - TALERS TALER 1660 MUNSTER SIEGE COINAGE - KLIPPE NGC MS 62 Unlike most siege currency issued during wartime, this one was issued during the insurrection by the city of Münster against its ruler, Bishop Christoph Bernhard von Galen. The siege lasted from July 1660 to March 1661 when the city was forced to give up its quest for greater autonomy and surrendered.

This coin has a thaler weight of approximately 28g and has the typical klippe square shape, 34mm x 34mm. The legend MONAST : WESTPH : OBSESSVM is for Münster Westphalia Beseiged.

Slabbed purchase from CNG 108 in May of 2018. ex Jonathan K. Kern Collection of Siege Coinage
View Coin 17th Cent, Denmark krone DENMARK 1601-1874 KRONE 1671 GK DAV-3633 PCGS VF 35 Kingdom of Denmark, Christian V (1670-99), Gottfried Kruger mintmaster, Copenhagen, KM-330; Sieg-34.1; H-67A; Dav-3633.
View Coin 17th Cent, Naples Ducato ITALY - PRE- NAPOLEONIC DUCATO 1684 NAPLES & SICILY DAV-4045 NGC AU 53 1684 ducato of the Kingdom of Naples (and Sicily). The obverse shows the bust of Charles II, ruler of the Spanish Empire which, at this time, included the Southern portion of Italy and the island of Sicily. The reverse has the legend VNVS NON SVFFICIT (one is not enough) which was previously seen on medals and printed works of art as VNVS NON SVFFICIT ORBIS (one world is not enough), and depicts a pillar surmounted by a crown and two hemispheres of the globe. The initials on the reverse are for the mint official Andrea Giovane and assayer F. Antonio Ariani. On the obverse, the initials under the bust are for the engraver Giovanni Montemein.

It seems unlikely that Francisco Hernández Escudero was unaware of this coin when he designed the iconic pillar dollar in 1729, a coin that would become so successful as a trade dollar across the globe.
View Coin 17th Cent, Hungary "Hogmouth" thaler HUNGARY 1601-1799 TALER 1698KB DAV-3264 NGC XF 45 Thalers of Leopold I are popular with collectors because of the prominent, and perhaps exagerated, Habsburg jaw featured on his portrait. It gave him the nickname "the Hogmouth". This example has a lovely circulation cameo and was issued from the Kremnica Mint, in modern day Slovakia, established by the Kingdom of Hungary in 1328. They are large and thick, to the point that they typically need an oversize slab to hold them.
View Coin 18th Cent, Livorno pezza della rosa ITALY - PRE- NAPOLEONIC 1PDR 1707 LIVORNO DAV-1501 NGC XF 45 Pezza della Rosa or Rose Dollar from Livorno in the Italian state of Tuscany. Interestingly, it's one of several crown sized silver coins that were minted there. Ducats or piastra were made to trade on par with the high value ducatons from the Dutch Republic. Talleros had a value equal to the thalers of the German states. The pezza della rosa, also known as pezza da otto reali, was the local equivalent of the Spanish 8 reales. As an important port and trading center, having local coins with similar values to foreign coins eased commerce and gave the ruler the seigniorage, the profit on the difference between the face value and cost to produce the coins.

My example is from 1707, during the reign of Cosimo III, the penultimate head of the famous Medici family.
View Coin 18th Cent, Venice scudo ITALY - PRE- NAPOLEONIC SCUDO (1714-15) AM VENICE DAV-1530 GIOVANNI CORNER II NGC AU 55 The Italian States minted many silver crown sized coins, Venice alone had the tallero, ducatone and scudo for internal use and to trade along side equivalent foreign currency. The largest of these was the scudo, valued at 140 soldi. This example is from the time of Doge Giovanni Cornero II and though undated, the mintmaster's initials, AM for Alvise Minotto, indicate that it was produced in 1714 or 1715.
View Coin 18th Cent, Russian rouble RUSSIA - 1606-1801 ROUBLE 1743MMA NGC AU 50 The silver crown of Russia was the Rouble. This example is from the early years of the reign of Elizaveta Petrovna, second-oldest surviving daughter of Peter the Great. Roubles shrank in size and fineness over time -- this one, minted in Moscow, is 25.85 grams and 80% silver.

ex: Antonin Prokop Collection.
View Coin 18th Cent, British crown GREAT BRITAIN 1707-1815 1S 1746 LIMA G.britain PCGS AU 50 British Crown of George II. Unlike the 'VIGO' issues, the 'LIMA' coins were actually minted from captured silver. However, current research refutes the notion that these were minted from silver captured by Admiral Lord George Anson (1697-1762) during his circumnavigation of 1740-44.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, Great Britain was the ally of Maria Theresa of Austria, and fought its two greatest maritime rivals, France and Spain. In July 1745, Captains James Talbot and John Morecock, commanding two privateers in the North Atlantic, the Prince Frederick and the Duke, captured two French treasure ships returning from Callao, the port of Lima. Their haul was £800,000 in silver coins and ingots, plus gold and other goods. When they landed at Bristol in October it took 45 wagons to transport the coin and bullion (which weighed over 78 tons) to the Tower Mint. There the silver was used in the production of the so-called 'Lima' coinage of 1746. It was requested that the word 'Lima' be used on the coins to celebrate the exploit.

-from the British Museum (
View Coin 18th Cent, Ragusa thaler RAGUSA TALER 1759 DAV-1639 NGC MS 61 The Republic of Ragusa was an independent coastal nation that existed from the 14th century to the 18th century in what is now Southern Croatia and its principal city is now known as Dubrovnik. It was governed by an elected official called the Rector with a fairly short term. Unfortunately, the names of the Rectors that goes with the portraits on these coins may be lost to history.
View Coin 18th Cent, Austria MTT AUSTRIA - EMPIRE PART 1 TALER 1760 HALL DAV-1121 M.THERESA NGC AU 58 No collection of world crowns would be complete without an example of the Maria Theresa thaler. Along with the 8 reales and the various crowns of the Dutch Republic, it was one of the most important silver trade coins of the 18th century -- it was so popular in the Middle East and North Africa that reproductions, all frozen at the date of Maria Theresa's death in 1780, continued to be issued well into the 20th Century.
View Coin 18th Century, Austrian Netherlands kronenthaler NETHERLANDS - AUSTRIAN 1KT 1765 AUSTRIA Netherland BRUSSELS DAV-1282 NGC VF 35 The early Kronenthalers kept a similar appearance to the earlier Patagon. This one is from reign of Maria Theresa and the year, 1765, that her son Joseph II became Holy Roman Emperor after the death of Francis I. Obverse: 4 crowns in the angles of a floriated St. Andrew's cross. Reverse: Crowned imperial eagle with shield on breast.
View Coin 18th Cent, Malta 30 tari MALTA & ORDER OF MALTA 30T 1768 ORDER Of DAV-1604 NGC VF 30 The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is the modern name of the medieval order known by many other titles including the Order of Saint John and the Knights Hospitaller. They administered the Mediterranean island of Malta from 1530 to 1798, when they were permanently evicted by Napoleon.

During their administration of Malta, they issued the 30 Tari silver crown-sized coin. This one is from 1768 during the Grand Mastership of Fra' Manuel Pinto da Fonseca, a Portuguese nobleman who led the order from 1741 to his death in 1773. The obverse shows a coat arms that is a combination of Pinto's house and the order's. The reverse is an image of St. John the Baptist.
View Coin 18th Cent, Franfurt city view thaler GERMANY - TALERS TALER 1772 PCB OE FRANKFURT DAV-2226 NGC AU 53 The Free Cities of the Holy Roman Empire, subordinate only to the emperor, enjoyed a certain amount of self-rule. Without the need to display the local secular or ecclesiastical rulers, some chose to display their city. This thaler from Frankfurt am Main, features such a "city view" design.
View Coin 18th Cent, Java counterstamp N.E.INDIES 1RB (UNDATED) Java C/S ON MEXICO 8R 1773MO Seki Coll. C/S: AU STD NGC XF Details Crowns were important stores of value, especially in places of commerce lacking the authority or ability to issue them. This example is a well known silver crown of the Spanish Empire, possibly counterstamped for use on Java by the Dutch East India Company. There are official records authorizing the counterstamping of gold ducats between 1753 and 1761, which raised the value for commerce on Java beyond the precious metal content in hopes that the coin would remain in circulation. However, there do not appear to be any records authorizing the counterstamping of silver crowns (extant examples are all Maria Theresa thalers and 8 reales) for the same purpose. Nevertheless, a type of counterstamp for silver crowns, slightly different in design from the ducats, but both based on the Arabic script for Java, has been cataloged and is now recognized by NGC as such.

ex Seki Collection
View Coin 18th Cent, Norway speciedaler NORWAY 1628-1873 1SD 1777 HIAB DAV-1308 NGC XF 40 The Kingdom of Denmark-Norway was administered by Danish monarchs during the two kingdoms' personal union of 1660-1814. Norway issued its own coinage and circulated alongside Danish currency during this period -- the rigsdaler specie at 120 skilling was the large silver crown equivalent. The rigsdaler specie would be renamed the speciedaler in 1816 but you are likely to see the earlier rigsdaler specie catalogued as such. My example of the rigsdaler specie was minted in Kongsberg at the Royal Norwegian Mint.
View Coin 18th Cent, Sweden Riksdaler SWEDEN 1601-1855 1RD 1790/88 OL DAV-1736 NGC AU 53 The silver crown of Sweden was the riksdaler, first minted in 1604 and the basis of Swedish currency from 1777 - 1873, when it was replaced by the krona. This riksdaler is from the reign of Gustav III, the first neutral head of state to recognize the United States of America in 1782. The purchase of this coin was inspired by my enjoyment of the Swedish historic crime drama, Anno 1790.

From a Heritage World Weekly Auction in April of 2021.
View Coin 18th Cent, Dutch Republic ducaton NETHERLANDS 1601-1816 1DUC 1791 Netherland UTRECHT DAV-1832 NGC MS 63 The provinces of the Dutch Republic minted several crown sized silver coins -- daalder, ducat, 3 gulder and ducaton. The ducaton was the largest with a value of 60 stuivers. Known as the "Silver Rider" for its obserse design, it was produced from 1659 to 1798 and it's one of my favorite coin designs.
View Coin 18th Cent, Sierra Leone dollar SIERRA LEONE S$1 1791 S.leone Co SILVER NGC XF Details The Sierra Leone Company dollars were the first silver crowns minted by Matthew Bolton at his Soho Mint, mintage of 6560.
View Coin 18th Cent, Ottoman Empire yuzluk TURKEY YUZLUK AH1203//6 NGC MS 62 The only crown sized coin of the Ottoman Empire was the yuzluk, weighing in at 31-33 g and up to 45 mm in diameter. However, it was slightly less than half silver so it may not have been able to trade on par with the most favored trade coin, in the Middle East and North Africa, the Maria Theresa thaler.
View Coin 18th Cent, Swiss Canton of Bern, thaler SWITZERLAND - CANTONS TALER 1795 Switzerlnd BERN DAV-1759 PCGS MS 63 The Swiss cantons featured wonderful designs on their coins. This thaler, from Bern, was issued shortly before Napoleon forced the collapse of the Swiss Confederation. I will note that Swiss mercenaries were known for their pike formations and their frequent rivals were the German Landsknechts who were famous for their zweihänder swords so it's interesting to see the choice of weapon displayed on this coin. Of course, in 1795, when this thaler was issued, armies were mostly equipped with gunpowder weapons.
View Coin 18th Cent, US dollar United States $1 1799 BB-167,B-14 NGC XF 40 The Philadelphia mint is the oldest US mint, established in 1792 and operating from the original three buildings through 1833. The first silver dollars from this mint were issued in 1794 featuring the flowing hair Liberty design. My example from this historic mint is the second design, the draped bust Liberty, that commenced in 1795.

Purchased from Heritage Auctions, July 2014. 'Nicknamed the "tears" variety for a series of small die lumps in the field opposite Liberty's eye and nose. These lumps are diagnostic, as are die lumps under the AM of AMERICA for Die State II. All examples of this variety are weakly struck on Liberty's hair, which is often mistaken for wear. The current coin is bright silver-gray, with traces of luster remaining within Liberty's hair strands and a touch of gold at the rims. The BB-167 variety is normally found in VF or lesser grades. XF examples of the variety are scarce.'
View Coin 19th Cent, Rio de Janeiro 960 reis BRAZIL COLONIAL/IMPERIAL 960R 1810R NGC MS 64 In 1807, Napoleon forced the Portuguese court into exile. Relocating to Rio de Janeiro, Portugal became the colony -- its kingdom ruled from Brazil. This transfer of power was formalized in 1815 when the Reino Unido de Portugal, Brasil e Algarves was established and Rio de Janeiro became its capital. This is the only example of a European nation ruled from one of its colonies. The Portuguese court returned to Lisbon in 1821 with Brazil gaining its independence the following year.

My example from this period is an 1810 960 Reis from the Rio de Janeiro mint, overstruck on a Potosi 8 reales. The counterstriking of 8 reales was superseded by the full overstrikes starting in this year. The host coin's bullion value was only 750-800 reis, at this time; the inflation to 960 reis was done to generate revenue for the crown.

On the obverse is the Portuguese coat of arms; on the reverse is the armillary sphere. The armillary sphere, an astronomical and navigational instrument of huge importance during the Age of Discovery, became a national emblem of the Portuguese Empire.
View Coin 19th Cent, Argentina 8 reales ARGENTINA 8R 1813PTS J NGC AU 55 1813 8 reales of the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata, formerly the Spanish Viceroyalty of the Rio del la Plata that included parts of modern day Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia. This is from the first year of issues, after the royalist forces retreated from part of Alto Perú leaving the mint at Potosí under the control of the revolutionaries. Another issue followed in 1815 when the revolutionary forces once again controlled the mint. Ultimately, Alto Perú gained independence in 1825 taking the name Bolivia in honor of Simón Bolívar.

This is the first year of issue and was minted in Potosi. The sunface design on this coin is known as the Sol de Mayo from the story that the sun shone forth from the clouds at the declaration of the new, independent government in May of 1810. The design is similar to the heraldic device called the "sun in splendor", notable for having alternating straight and wavy rays.

Slabbed purchase from the September 2015 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction. From the auction catalog: "Argentina, Potosi mint, KM5. attractive for the assigned grade with significantly lustrous fields, a sharp strike and light high-point wear defining the grade. A good representative of this classic and popular early Republican issue, very scarce in this preservation."
View Coin 19th Cent, Colombia 8 reales COLOMBIA EARLY REPUBLICS 8R 1819 JF NUEVA GRANADA NGC VF 30 The República de Colombia existed from 1819-1831. It was formed from Spanish Viceroyalty of New Granada that had included the territories of present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, northern Peru, western Guyana and northwest Brazil. Today, the República de Colombia is often referred to as Gran Colombia to differentiate from the official name of the modern nation of Colombia.

There were several 8 reales issues from 1819 to 1821 using the same design motif; native bust in feather headdress on obverse and pomegranate (the symbol of the Spanish province of Granada) on reverse. They show the value of 8 reales, however these were significantly debased from the Spanish standard, weighing 23 grams and only 66.6% silver.

My example is an early issue that it still bears the Spanish colonial "Nueva Granada" legend and shows "Libertad Americana" in place of a national title.
View Coin 19th Cent, CAR 8 reales CENTRAL AMERICAN REPUBLIC 8R 1824NG M NGC AU 50 1824 8 reales of the Republica del Centro de America, formerly the Spanish Captaincy General of Guatemala that included modern day Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Los Altos (which would become the Mexican State of Chiapas). This is the first year of issue and was minted in Nueva Guatemala (Guatamala City). In my opinion, the obverse design embodies the idea of the light of freedom dawning on a newly liberated land. The reverse depicts the Kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra) with the legend "LIBRE CRESCA (CRESZCA) FECUNDO" -- Grow Free and Fertile.

From the January 2016 World Coins Auction, Dallas. "Conservatively graded with light silvery gray toning and much original luster. From the Nob Hill Collection".
View Coin 19th Cent, Mexico Hookneck 8 reales MEXICO - 1823-1909 8R 1824MO JM HOOKNECK EAGLE NGC XF Details As you can see in this section of my set, most of the nations to emerge from under Spanish rule in the Americas continued to issue 8 reales under their own authority. The initial design from the First Mexican Republic featured the eagle in profile, called the "hookneck" for the distinctive arch of the eagle's neck as it grips a snake while perched on a cactus on a rock in a lake is based on the legend of the founding of Tenochtitlan. The common nickname for the larger series "Cap and Rays" comes from the reverse design with its Phrygian cap, a symbol of freedom and the pursuit of liberty, over a background of rays of light.
19th Cent, Philippines counterstamp PHILIPPINES 8R (1832-34) Philippine T5 C/S ON PERU 8R KM-83 During Spanish colonial times, silver crowns intended for circulation in the Philippines were imported and authorized with a counterstamp. The host coin for this example is from the newly independent nation of Peru and stamped with the symbol for the Spanish monarch, Ferdinand VII.
19th Cent, Vietnam 7 Tien VIETNAM/ANNAM 7T YR14(1833) ANNAM SCH-182 MINH MANG Dragon Dollars or Silver Dragons are names for the Asian silver dollar sized coins issued in China and Japan at the end of the 19th Century in emulation of the Spanish Colonial and Mexican 8 reales that were the dominant trade coin. But the first of these silver coins with a prominent dragon design was actually issued by Emperor Minh Mang of Viet Nam. The earliest of these are undated and the first dated coins show the number 13 indicating the regnal year, 1832. The specific denomination that corresponds to the 8 reales trade standard is the 7 tien, weighing almost 27 grams. The casting of coins in East and Southeast Asia had been established since ancient times and some opinions that you may find on the internet claim that the silver issues of Minh Mang and subsequent rulers were also cast. Fortunately, there are more informed resources to consult. The Standard Catalog of World Coins lists these as milled as do many of the top auction house catalogs. And a few of the finest examples are encapsulated in mint state grades by TPGs indicating that the coin surfaces still exhibit the luster that occurs from the metal flow when a planchet is struck. If you examine enough good photos of these you can notice some instances where the planchet was not perfectly centered -- a feature of a coin struck in a open collar press.

My example is from the 14 regnal year, 1833, shown in Chinese characters beneath the dragon, the obverse shows the characters for Minh Mang and Thong Bao (general currency). It exhibits circulation wear and environmental damage in addition to the holes where it was likely used as a garment adornment.
View Coin 19th Cent, South Peru 8 reales PERU 1822-57 8R 1837CUZCO BA SOUTH PERU - INCUSE EDGE NGC AU 55 1837 8 reales of the short lived Republic of South Peru that comprised part of modern day Peru and Bolivia. This is the first year of issue and was minted in Cuzco. This sunface is thought to be an Inca design, perhaps representing the sun god Inti. The complex reverse design depicts a cornucopia of gold from the Peruvian coat of arms, a crowned tower that some sources cite as the Inca fortress of Saksaywaman overlooking the city of Cuzco, a volcano (perhaps El Misti, one of Peru's most active), and a ship in the ocean. Coincidentally, Charles Darwin noted volcanic activity in the area when he arrived in Lima on the second voyage of the HMS Beagle in July of 1835. Perhaps the engraver was commemorating the visit of this important voyage of discovery.

There are three types of 8 reales minted in 1837. The rare type has raised edge lettering and the FEDERACION legend. This type is the one with incuse edge lettering and the FEDERACION legend. The third type has the CONFEDERACION legend, which would also appear on all subsequent years.

Slabbed purchase from the September 2015 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction. From the auction catalog: 'SO.PERU "FEDERACION", KM170.1. Cuzco mint, assayer, "BA". Variety with incuse edge lettering. Light golden toning with little actual wear.'
View Coin 19th Cent, Chile 8 reales CHILE - REPUBLIC 8R 1839SO IJ NGC AU 55 Following the volcano peso, issued during Chile's struggle for independence, the subsequent design of the silver crown of the Republic of Chile featured the Andean condor rending the links of a chain at its feet and returned to the 8 reales denomination. The condor, itself a symbol of freedom is the national bird of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador as well as Chile. These were issued from 1837-1840 and 1848-1849. My example is from 1839 the least scarce date with a mintage of 205,000. The legend "Por la Razon y la Fuerze" means "By reason and by force".
View Coin 19th Cent, Portugal coroa PORTUGAL 1836 TO DATE 1000R 1845 NGC AU Details For a few brief years (1837-1845) Portugal produced the coroa, a crown sized silver coin with a value of 1000 reis. In these years the coroa was 29.6 g, 36.5 mm and .917 fine silver. Subsequent issues would diminish to 25 g. These are scarce as they had low mintages. My example is from the last year in the series and had the largest mintage of 10,724. The portrait of Maria II is by William Wyon, official chief engraver at the Royal Mint from 1828 until his death in 1851.
View Coin 19 Cent, Thailand 2 baht THAILAND X 2B (1863) RAMA IV NGC AU 53 The Thai king Rama IV introduced modern coinage in 1860. Prior to that cowrie shells from the Mekong River and "bullet" coinage was used. The 2 baht circulation issue silver crown of 1863 features a distinctive coin design with its royal crown flanked by umbrellas obverse and elephant dominating the center of the reverse.
View Coin 19th Cent, Hong Kong dollar HONG KONG S$1 1866 NGC AU Details The British set up a mint in Hong Kong in 1866 but was closed in 1868 due to Chinese merchants overwhelming favoritism for the Spanish colonial 8 reales. The mint machinery is reported to have been sold to the Osaka Mint in Japan, and the story is often told that it was used to strike one Yen and Japanese Trade Dollars. However, other research indicates that the machinery sat so long in their crates while the mint facility was constructed that the equipment rusted to the point that it was unusable. Mintage 2,108,000.
View Coin 19th Cent, Japan yen JAPAN YEN M3(1870) TYPE 1 NGC MS 63 The creation of the yen currency was a hallmark of the early Meiji government's efforts to modernize Japan's economy. Its issue as a silver crown was brief as the silver standard of the time came under pressure due to the rapid devaluation of silver versus gold as many nations had shifted to the gold standard starting in 1873.

The obverse shows the Japanese dragon, denoted by three claws, holding a pearl, which can have several meanings. The reverse shows a radiant sun surmounted by the chrysanthemum seal of Japanese Emperor.
View Coin 19th Cent, Venezuela venezolano VENEZUELA 1V 1876A Jorge Gonzalez Collection NGC VF 20 Decimalization occurred in many of the former Spanish colonies in the Americas in the middle of the 19th century as these new nations moved away from the 27 gram 8 reales standard to 25 grams and several of these nations joined the Latin Monetary Union to facilitate trade with Europe. In Venezuela, decimalization started with the peso in 1843 although no silver coins of that denomination were struck. In 1872 the currency was renamed to the venezolano with the subdivision of 100 centavos. The silver venezolano was issued for just one year in 1876. Venezuela joined the Latin Monetary Union in 1879 and changed the currency to the bolivar, with the crown sized silver coin issued as 5 bolivars.

ex Centuria Collection ex Jorge Gonzalez Collection
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