Featured The "Queen", a 50 Reales of Segovia, 1635

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by robinjojo, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Today I thought it would be as good a time as any to post this coin that has graced the world coin section of my collection since 1997.

    The coin is a massive 50 reales, struck in the name of Philip IV of Spain at Segovia, in 1635.

    For many years I have eyed various examples of this coinage, and in 1997 I decided to bite the bullet, bidding on lot 2555 of the Superior Stamp & Coin Auction held on June 3-4, 1997.

    I was successful, with a winning bid of around $25,000 + buyers fee. This was a huge sum to pay for one coin, and I had to sell a good portion of my collection at the time to help raise funds.

    And, as fate would have it, both my wife and I were terminated from our employment in June 1997, at a local health care center as part of a merger and "downsizing" of staff.

    Still, I raised the funds to pay the approximate $27,000 for this coin (time clouds my memory so I don't have the exact amount).

    The coin arrived, in a custom coin holder secured with 8 plastic screws, two of which have gone missing over the years. This coin is still in this holder.

    As 50 reales dates go, this one, 1635, is one of the more "common" dates, of which, according to Goldberg Auctions, 12 known examples exist, with 6 in public collections.

    In terms of condition, this example is well struck, nicely toned, displays some wear and typical flan stress on the reverse on obverse, although the flan stress is not as severe as it is on other 50 reales. I would conservatively grade it as a choice VF.

    This coin measures 74.5 mm in diameter. The weight specification for this type is 170.0 grams, according to Krause. This coin weighs 174.3 grams.

    Spain, 1635
    50 reales, Cincuentin
    Philip IV
    Segovia (Aqueduct)
    Assayer R
    Obverse: Spanish Hapsburg shield, crown above, legend: PHILIPPVS IIII D G, Aqueduct and R to the shield's left, 50 to the shield's right.
    Reverse: Castles and lions in quadrant, legend: HISPANIARVM REX 1635.

    Dav-LS567, KM 81.5, Cayón no. 6590

    D-Camera Spain, Philip IV, 50 Reales, Segovia, Assayer R, Superior 1997, 8-30-20.jpg

    The 50 reales series represents the penultimate silver coinage of the Spanish Empire, an empire whose history is riddled with constant wars with the United Provinces (Netherlands), France and England, as well as experiencing endemic corruption both domestically and abroad. So massive was the silver output from Potosi alone, that it was said a bridge of silver could have been built between South America and Spain. Yet, the money borrowed by the Spanish Crown to finance the crown and the country's wars, along with the interest paid to the bankers of Milan and other financial capitols of Europe, kept Spain in an eternal spiral of economic decline, until it was an empire in name only by the 19th century.

    So, massive quantities of silver did flow through the port of Seville, only for most of it to go directly to the banking houses of Europe. What silver remained was used to strike mostly minor denominations for everyday use. With the exception of Seville, 8 reales from other mints tend to be scarce to rare.

    This coin, along with the other 50 reales, was issued on an irregular basis, and never really intended for circulation. Instead, they were issued to certain prominent individuals for their services to the crown, or to members of the royal family and court.

    Does anyone have an 8 reales companion for this coin, from Segovia, dated 1635? Please post any coins you'd like.

    Thank you.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
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  3. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    This coin is amazing and a Cinquentin is something on the list of things I would LOVE to have but probably will never buy just because of the steep cost. Incredible piece! Consider me envious!
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  4. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

  5. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you. The cost was indeed steep and I sold a good portion of the collection which included some pretty rare coins, both world and ancient back in 1997. As I mentioned it was purchased at a bad time for us, but who could foresee the future?

    This type does come on to the market, usually through auction, but many examples have not bee treated well - they've been cleaned, mishandled or have significant flaws. The hydraulic machinery used to strike them must have been substantial and very impressive.

    For myself, this is a coin that was worth the cost. I've been looking at the dekadrachms of Syracuse, but they seem more readily available, but tend to fetch high prices because of their artistry, even for coins with problems - die rust (quite common), corrosion, harsh or inappropriate cleaning, uneven or off-center strike, etc.
    kazuma78 likes this.
  6. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

  7. jgenn

    jgenn World Crown Collector

    Wow what a fabulous item to have in your collection! Thanks for the excellent post about this special issue.

    The closest I can get from my collection is this Philip IV 8 reales from Segovia, albeit from 1660.

    Theodosius, Cachecoins, wcg and 2 others like this.
  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    That's a lovely coin.

    What does NGC grade it?
  9. jgenn

    jgenn World Crown Collector

    robinjojo likes this.
  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

  11. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Pretty wild coin. Your price Nearly exceeds my Entire net worth. Lol
  12. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    No doubt about it, it was a big bucks purchase, my first and last, for sure. With the pension and social security as income now, I am forced into some discipline. No more "high rollers" for me.
  13. doppeltaler

    doppeltaler Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on owning this awesome coin. This one is in my list of multiple sized crowns collection. At the moment i cannot afford it but hopefully, i will have some disposable in the future.
    Thank you for sharing the personal story behind your purchase, great that you stick to buying it.
  14. doppeltaler

    doppeltaler Well-Known Member

    Do you have any pictures of the scale of this coin, perhaps side by side with a quarter? Also is it large in diameter or thick?
  15. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a photo of the coin in its holder (hence the slight reflection), with a quarter next to it for comparison. The angle is slightly oblique, but the photo should provide a pretty good size comparison.

    As for thickness, I don't have anything specific, but as I recall looking at the coin last night, while weighing it, I would say it is in the neighborhood of 5-6 mm, perhaps a bit more.

    D-Camera Spain, Philip IV, 50 Reales, in holder with quarter, 8-31-20.jpg
    wcg likes this.
  16. doppeltaler

    doppeltaler Well-Known Member

    Thank you, love it
  17. Mkman123

    Mkman123 Well-Known Member

    Holy cow, I saw the one that sold earlier this year on Heritage and thats impressive. Yours is mightly nice too, I'm sure 25k in 1997 was quite a bit of money as well.
    What a lovely piece, this must be your "white whale"?
  18. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    I suppose it has been something of a white whale, putting so much money into one coin, but I am happy to have it. It does have presence and history.
  19. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    I have admired these impressive coins for many years, and yours is a truly nice example. As you have said, it was a serious financial step to take, but one which you do not regret. I think that if I collected Spanish coins, as opposed to Spanish American, I would have loved to add one of these to my collection.

    Do you know how many examples of the Cincuentin are known to exist for all mintage years combined?
    robinjojo likes this.
  20. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

  21. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    I am amazed that you had a wife that tolerant. Some years ago I did a somewhat similar stretch for a coin - however, no wife to monitor the action! Another time I negotiated a major trade of some huge rarities to get one rare set from a firm in the UK - that was somewhat off the books thereby.

    I'm like you in that I treasure these and do not want to sell & have had the joy of ownership for quite a few years....
    robinjojo likes this.
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