High Grade Brazilian 3,200 Reis of Joao V.

Welcome to 2014! The Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio world coin team would like to wish you a Happy New Year! We have amazing auctions planned for 2014 and we will be previewing our rare and exceptional world and ancient coins throughout the year in our blog posts! This week we are showcasing a rare Brazilian coin to be offered in our New York International Numismatic Convention auction, January 10-13.

This rare type comes to us from the Portuguese colony of Brazil, at the height of the Portuguese overseas trade empire. Diamond and gold deposits found in Brazil provided Portugal (and King Joao V) with substantial profits. Speculation has it that Portugal collected more gold from Brazil in a few decades than Spain took from the rest of Central and South America over 400 years. The Diamond mines also provided a considerable boost to the royal coffers. One fifth of each ton of gold went straight to the crown, a considerable amount. This private wealth allowed Joao V to rule without his council, the Portuguese Cortes, effectively allowing him to become an absolute monarch. The proliferation of gold into Portugal allowed for large denomination gold pieces to be minted with regularity. The 6,400 Reis is a fairly common numismatic item found in major auctions, as the large denomination led it to be saved. As such, an attractive 6,400 Reis can be acquired with minimal effort (albeit for a decent amount of money). The smaller denominations of gold, however, were more readily spent. As such, denominations like this 3,200 Reis in PCGS MS-63 are extremely difficult to find in the market. The eye appeal for this piece is exceptional.

The obverse design displays the regal laureate bust of Joao V, facing right. The translated legend appears as: “Joao V, by the Grace of God, King of Portugal and the Algarves”. The Mint mark of Rio de Janeiro and the date of 1749 appear below the bust. The reverse of the coin shows the impressive and monolithic arms of the King — the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Portugal under the House of Braganza. This coin offers a nice strike with exquisite frosty mint luster. The eye appeal is stellar, and elevates this scarce type into the realm of true rarity. Expect frenzied bidding once this coin reaches the podium in New York.

Look for this and other world numismatic rarities in our upcoming January New York International Sale. For details regarding lot viewing, please refer to the Auction Schedule/Details link under Current Auctions at While our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio January New York International sale is closed for further consignments, we are currently taking consignments of world and ancient coins for our April 2014 Hong Kong and August ANA sales. 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.

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