Assayer P Coins minted under Charles and Joanna from the Mexico City Mint

21 Jan

Did you know that the Banco de Mexico has photos of almost all of their Charles and Joanna coin holdings online? A friend pointed me to the site last year, and I have been slowly incorporating these coins into my census database of both early and late series Charles and Joanna coins of all denominations. I’ll share more surprises from the Banco de Mexico’s large and beautiful trove of coins in later blogs, but for now I want to tell you something about Assayer P coins.

It finally dawned on me that there is a distinction between earlier and later coins minted under Assayer P, and you can tell this in several ways, but the most distinguishing characteristic can be found in the pillars-side legend. If you have any of these coins, take a look. Does the legend begin with HISPANIE or HISPANIARVM? If it’s HISPANIE, then you have a coin of the earlier variety.

To confuse matters more, there are a couple of varieties of HISPANIE.

Lot 251, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

Lot 251, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

I’m not sure which coins were made before the others, but one variety (pictured above) is KIS : PANIE (note the K instead of H) and the other is simply HISPANIE. You can even see that the KIS : PANIE variety is followed by INDIAR : AM instead of INDIARVM! Below is an example of HISPANIE with no funny letters.

Lot 252, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

Lot 252, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

The later varieties (see below) all use HISPANIARVM ET INDIARVM. It doesn’t matter which way the rhomboid panel points–left or right–or what sort of ornaments were used as stops between words.

Lot 253, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

Lot 253, Sedwick Treasure Auction #15, May 2014

Why were coins with HISPANIE minted before coins with HISPANIARVM? You have to go back to Assayer R, the predecessor to Assayer P and look at his coins. He used HISPANIE (with often a retrograde N), and it stands to reason that when Assayer P took over at the mint, he started with HISPANIE before settling on the more common HISPANIARVM.

You can also see the HISPANIE vs. HISPANIARVM varieties on 1 and 2 reales denominations.

One Response to “Assayer P Coins minted under Charles and Joanna from the Mexico City Mint”

  1. sedwickcoins January 21, 2015 at 9:55 PM #

    Thanks for the great Article Cori!

    Like

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