In keeping with our past two November Baltimore world coin highlights, we feature another impressive world gold coin, this time from the Spanish New World. It is a 4 Escudos from the long reign of Spanish King Philip V, issued for Mexico, and the finest certified example. Philip V reigned from 1700 to 1724, then abdicated for a brief interlude for his son Louis I to rule for seven months before dying of smallpox. Philip V then resumed his reign until his death in 1746. This coin was minted towards the end of his reign.
At the center of the obverse is an ornate and regal bust of King Philip V facing right, in armor and wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece. Surrounding the portrait are his royal titles: “PHILIP. V. D. G. HISPAN. ET IND. REX,” translating as: “Philip V, by the Grace of God, King of Spain and the Indies.” The date appears below the bust, flanked by two rosettes. The reverse features an intricate shield depicting the complex coat of arms of the King of Spain. The Crown appears above the shield, and between the legend and the heraldic shield are displayed the assayer’s initials on the left and a “4” for 4 Escudos on the right. The inscription reads: “INITIUM SAPIENTIAE TIMOR DOMINI” which translates to “Beginning of Wisdom is Fear of the Lord.” This inscription was the official motto of Philip V. The example we offer in our Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo this November has received a grade of MS-61 from NGC, and currently stands as the finest example certified by either PCGS or NGC. It has considerable flash and luster and also possesses a crisp strike. Nearly full mirroring is seen amongst the legends and satiny surface toning can be found throughout the center. This example is certain to occupy a cherished spot in the next collection it enters.
Look for this and other world numismatic rarities in our upcoming Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo, November 5-8 in Baltimore. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at www.StacksBowers.com. Though our Stack’s Bowers November Baltimore Auction is no longer open for further consignments, we are now accepting consignments of world and ancient coins for our January New York International Auction as well as Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our December 2015 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.