A Curious Mexican Coin

18 Dec

Things have been a bit crazy here at our office between our very successful Sedwick Treasure, World and U.S. Coin Auction 18, shipping of post-auction material, and clean-up before Christmas. Thanks to everyone–consignors and buyers alike–who helped make Auction 18 one of our most successful auctions. Plus Ultra!

Awhile back, I was lucky enough to buy a coin that is unique as far as I know. I’m calling it my “curious coin” because it has me shaking my head as to why more of these coins have never surfaced. Maybe you have an answer, and if so, please tell me!Assayer R 2 real, rhomboid panel

This coin is from the Charles and Joanna era at the Mexico City mint, my area of specialty. It’s from the time of the first assayer, Assayer R (for Francisco del Rincon), and is a 2 reales denominaton. Since the salvage of several shipwrecks in the last 20 years yielding large finds of this type of coin, we have seen many more varieties of the 4 reales, particularly Early Series which were prone to have a lot of variety. But, minor denominations are still pretty scarce and not quite as well represented on ships. So, what’s odd about the coin you see pictured here?

It’s the rhomboid panel containing PLVS! Up to this point, I have only seen 4 reales coins with a rhomboid panel. This type of panel represents the final issue from Assayer R before the transition to Assayer P. There are several examples of overassayer 4 reales (P/R) with a rhomboid panel. And, since there are several examples of Assayer R 4 reales with a rhomboid panel, it stands to reason that minor denominations with that panel were minted as well, but I have never seen one!

If you know of a 1 or 2 real with a rhomboid panel and want to share a picture with me, please do! My goal is always to bring to light all of the types of Charles and Joanna coinage.

Below is a rough spreadsheet showing the design progression from Assayer R to Assayer P. Remember that it’s a work in progress, so if you have any suggestions for improvement, I’m all ears. I’m hoping it’s somewhat helpful to show you how the designs changed within a period of a few years.

Design Progression from Assayer R to Assayer P



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