Is My REALE, Real?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Chip Kirkpatrick, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Chip Kirkpatrick

    Chip Kirkpatrick Well-Known Member

    Found this today and wondering if it’s authentic or not? My expert on treasure coins is out of town.

    Lighter in weight and thinner than the one Reale I’ve previously found. However it is known the quality of these degraded over time.

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  3. CopperGenie

    CopperGenie Om Nom Nom

  4. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I love your finds. My Spanish Cobb/reale knowledge is extremely limited. I love them because in my dumb luck I happened upon one on the Carolina coast thirty years ago. Mine is a hand struck or a Cobb coin. Yours appears to be a milled reale. For the life of me I cannot remember the year that they began milling the pieces. I do know the reason that milling began was for consistency in weight because prior to that the assayers were cheating the weight of the hand struck Cobb coins. More than a few assayers lost their lives over that.... I only mention that because you mentioned this one being thinner than another known piece you have. Personally, I like the way it presents. It doesn’t have a cast appearance to it.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    A couple things. Not sure if that's just a typo, but that's a 2 reales not a 1 reale. And it's not a "treasure" coin because it's not Spanish colonial, that one was minted in Spain not the colonies.

    As for the quality degrading, while there was a time when some minted (of all sizes) in the colonial mints were deliberately minted underweight - I am not aware of it ever happening in Spain.

    So, if the coin is indeed underweight (including tolerance levels) for a 2 reales, and given that it has been holed, it's quite possible that the hole was put there deliberately to mark the coin so that others would not be fooled by a fake.

    But I would ask, have you weighed the coin or are you just going by feel ? Because if the weight is correct, then the coin could easily be genuine.
    CopperGenie likes this.
  6. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    In weighing a coin like that, how much would you allow for the hole? There appears to be metal missing, not just pushed aside.
  7. Spark1951

    Spark1951 Accomplishment, not Activity Supporter

    Same thing I was, looking at the size of the hole, I calculate about 1% of the metal is missing. It follows you could know the weight it is supposed to have, and then extrapolate if it is close to tolerance after subtracting about would at least give you an idea...Spark
  8. BlackBeard_Thatch

    BlackBeard_Thatch Captain of the Queen Anne's Revenge

    Looks good to me just struck off center which is common.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  9. Bardolph

    Bardolph Member

    I agree, a genuine 2 reales de Cuenca, as shown by the mintmark CA underneath the somewhat worn R of reales. (Please note: 1 real, a half real, with no final ‘e’, but for 2, 3 or any other number the plural is reales. Webster accepts either reals or reales, but most numismatists prefer the Spanish plural reales).

    The mint in Cuenca, some 160 kilometres south-east of Madrid, was established in 1369 by Enrique II of Castille, and enjoyed varying degrees of success. It was closed from 1621 to 1651 and from 1664 to 1718, except for a couple of years when it was opened to produce copper Maravedis (1680-1681). The mint was re-opened in 1718 and produced ½ real and 1 real coins up until 1727 and 2 reales until 1726. (2 reales from Cuenca dated 1717 do exist, but since the mint was clearly not open in that year, they were backdated for some reason).

    Cuenca also produced, for one year only, the gold 4 escudos, in 1725.The mint was definitively closed in 1728. Throughout the whole of the final few years of the mint’s existence, the assayer was Juan Jose Garcia Caballero, who used the initial JJ. The first J can be seen near the hole in this coin.

    As has been pointed out, producing an underweight coin was an extremely rare offence which was severely punished. A coin could be almost any shape, diameter or thickness, as so many colonial coins often were, but the weight was the most important element, hence the proliferation of coin weights for all the major coins throughout mediaeval Europe. The other important element was the gold or silver content. From 1497 to 1706, the silver content of all Spanish coins was 93.055%.

    From 1707 onwards, Spanish silver was of two qualities; the high quality “Moneda Nacional”, the 8 and 4 reales which were primarily used in international trade and “Moneda Provincial” (1/2 real, 1 real and 2 reales) intended for internal or domestic use with a lower silver content.

    In the period 1709-1728, which covers this Cuenca coin, the silver content of Moneda Provincial coins was 83.333% and a 2 real piece weighed 6.135 grams. Moneda Nacional coins contained 91.666 grams of silver.
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