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Glenn's Types of Spanish Pillars, Mexico

Category: Mexico
Set Type: Mexico City, 1732-1821, 8 Reales Type Set
Owner: oldgoatsboats
Last Modified: 10/10/2016
Views: 1544

Rank: 5
Score: 10543
Leading by: 3095
Points to Higher Rank: 3745
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Set Description:

The first of the new minting machines to be installed overseas by the Imperial Spanish Government was appropriately sited in Mexico City, the seat of the Viceroy of New Spain since 1535, nine years before Blasco Nunez de Vela established his headquarters in Lima. The chief engraver from 1731 to 1760 was Francisco Monllor. He had responsibility to mint, in 1732, the first pillar coins in the five specified denominations (eight, four, two and one and half real pieces), closely following the pattern provided by Francisco Hernandez Escudero of the Segovia mint. This coin, which is still to be seen in the Mexican mint, bore a crowned M as mint mark, the regular sign of coins struck in Madrid from 1728 onwards. Naturally, this was replaced by the Mo symbol which had been used in Mexico City since the mints foundation in the reign of Philip II. No changes were made in the silver coinage until 1733, when for several months all five denominations used the letters MX in line without the "o" over the M. However, it was soon abandoned, and since then the Mo has continued in usage until the present day.

At this time the actual duration of reigns did not exactly coincide with the dates shown on the colonial coins as information frequently arrived too late to permit the dies to be changed. Philip V died on 8 June 1746, but his name and titles continued to appear on coins struck in early months of 1747. Ferdinand VI died on 19 August 1759, but many posthumous South American issues were dated 1760.

In 1754, Manuel Assorin took over from Francisco de la Pena y Flores as chief assayer. Fortuitously, his appointment coincided with the replacing of the royal crown topping the left pillar on the reverse by an imperial one, a move which was followed by Chile in 1760 and by Lima in 1769, but which Columbia, Guatemala and Potosi did not imitate.

No pillar coins were minted in Mexico City in 1772 apart from a minimal number of eight real pieces, whereas in Lima, the minting of all denominations continued throughout the year.

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