8 Reales, Potosi Mint Silver Coin Bolivia 1769

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Bonedigger, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Rick, Doug, etc.,

    I was hoping you fellas, or anyone else could offer me some insight on this 1769 Mexico City 8R. The weight according to the seller is dead on at 27.06 grams, and guaranteed to be authentic.


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    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    It's a common date - no special varieties that I know of. The weight is OK. The coin is corroded and looks to be covered in PVC, no doubt the cause of the corrosion. A shame too for the coin has nice XF details otherwise. As for value, in that condition, I would pass on anything over $125. Nice, no problem examples in XF can be had for $225.
  4. zaneman

    zaneman Former Moderator

    I really like the reale coins. The crest is really neat. Does anyone happen to know if they make a gold reale coin of any kind?

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Yeah, they issued gold - but not with that design. They are called escudos and come in various denominations from 1/2 to 8 escudos. THIS is what they look like.
  6. zaneman

    zaneman Former Moderator

    That is a great design. It appears to be out of my price range unfortunately though. :( I don't care much for american gold, but some foreign gold pieces are outstanding IMO.
  7. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Yes, it has some surface problems. Thanks for the info.

  8. Mikjo0

    Mikjo0 Numismatist

    I've heard that the U.S. dollar sign ($) was derived from the banners creating an "S" shape around the pillars on these reales.Anyone know if this is true?
  9. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Mikjo0,yes,that is where the $ sign originates from.Don't forget that quite a few countries have Dollars as their currency,& I don't mean US$.

  10. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    That is the legend yes, but I'm not so sure it is true. It has long been my belief that the $ comes directly from the Potosi mint mark. Even a quick glance at that mint mark pretty much answers the question.

    I think the legend of it being the due to the pillars and ribbon is because when someone first asked where the dollar sign came from they were told it was from the Spanish dollars. And if you pick up any Spanish colonial of this design, besides those struck in Potosi, you will find nothing that even comes close to resembling the $ except the pillar & ribbon.

    But if you pick up a Potosi coin and see that mint mark - it is as obvious as the nose on your face. So look at the pic below and then you tell me where the $ comes from.

  11. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Doug,I do see what you mean.The 'S' that is wrapped around the 'T' does look like the Dollar sign.

  12. Mikjo0

    Mikjo0 Numismatist

    Thanks Doug,
    Check out this description from New World Coins:

    "Mintmark-P or later a monogram PTSI (Potosi) which looks similar to a dollar sign ($). The mint opened after the pillar type cob period, thus it is the only coin type not to see production. Shield type cob - (1574-1652), pillars and waves type cob - (1652-1773), milled pillar - (1767-1770), and milled bust - (1773-1825).The first dated coin was struck in 1617." :)

  13. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Much better than my initial thought; St. Louis Cardinals... :D

  14. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    They're off by one year, the Potosi mint opened in 1573 - other than that OK.

    The Potosi mint was located literally on top of a mountain of silver at over 9,000 ft. of elevation. It was, and still is I believe, the largest single silver strike the world has ever known. And they produced more silver coins than any of the other mints. And because of that, the coins from Potosi circulated more widely throughout the world than any of the Spanish colonials. I always found it a shame that they did not begin production of the milled pillar coinage until near the end of the series.
  15. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Eric Newman did a lot of research on the origin of the $ sign and his conclusion was that it was derived from the changing abbrieviation for Pesos. It started out as a capital written Ps then later the s moved to the left so it wrapped around the vertical stroke of the P. As time proceeded further the top of the P got smaller and the s got larger until the top loop of the P disappeared complete leaving the S on the vertical stroke $. He illustrates this through a series of accounting ledger books that show the change of the symbol over time.
  16. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member


    For those who are unfamiliar with the Spanish-American gold coin series,I can tell you that the 8 Escudos is called a Doubloon.The 1 Escudo is 1/8 Doubloon,the 2 Escudos is 1/4 Doubloon,& the 4 Escudos is the 1/2 Doubloon.

  17. rick

    rick Coin Collector

    I thought the 2 escudos was a 'doubloon'... in reference to the word double.

    Are you sure about that Aidan?
  18. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    You're right Rick, but over time doubloon came to be a colloquial term which was used to describe several different gold coins. For example, the famous Brasher doubloon, this is a coin with a weight of nearly an oz. - just over 26 grams. An 8 escudos coin weighs 26.9 grams while a 2 escudos weighs only 6.7 grams.

    But it is incorrect usage to call them 1/4 or 1/2 doubloons. There really is no such thing.
  19. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Doug, my usage of fractionals of the Doubloon is derived from my use of describing the fractionals of the Piece of 8.

  20. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Yes I understand Aidan, but that is your personal choice and usage. And I mean no disrespect - but you are the only person in the entire world who uses this terminology when talking about these coins. At least you're the only one I've ever seen do so.

    There really is no such thing as a piece of two or a 1/4 doubloon. And your usage of this terminology is quite confusing to those who are trying to learn about these coins - perhaps for the first time. The correct terminolgy is to call the coins what they are - a 2 reales or a 2 escudos.

    You are certainly wlecome to use your names for the coins for your own personal uses, but I hope you understand my point about the confusion it can create for others.
  21. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Well boys and girls, I received the 8R today and I'm 0 for 2. Two attempted purchases and two fake. It's underweight by over 1/2 a gram. I've already contacted the seller and there is no problem returning it which I'll be doing first thing on Tuesday for a refund :( Alas...


    BTW Nice UPGRADE, great job Peter :)
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