World Silver - 1754 Peru 8 Reales LM JD NGC MS61
For generations of collectors, the first numismatic reference is the annually published Guide Book of United States Coins (affectionately known as the Red Book because of its iconic cover). First issued in 1947, the Red Book has been a welcome guide to beginner and advanced coin market enthusiasts. Since that first issue in 71 years ago, the first coin one encounters in the Red Book is the Mexican "Pillar" dollar, or 8 Reales. While this coin was struck between 1732 to 1771, it circulated widely in the Americas and served as specie in the colonial economy. In fact, the entire early American monetary system of dollars used the 8 Reale silver coins as its model, and most of American Colonial paper money was backed by "Spanish Milled Dollars"— or coins just like this. Spanish colonial coins circulated in day-to-day transactions as legal tender in the United States until 1857. These are the kinds of coins we see coming up in shipwrecks, but nowhere near in as excellent a quality – certainly not in a fresh, mint state quality. Furthermore, it must be remembered that coin collecting was not a hobby practiced in Peru or Spain at this time – at least to any significant degree. Thus, high-grade silver 8 Reale silver coins are very rare in uncirculated grades, since there was little motivation to preserve them. As indicated, some can be found as sea salvage examples, but they show evidence of saltwater corrosion, as previously indicated. To find an example such as this one is special indeed. This 8 Reale was struck in 1754 at the Lima mint in Peru under the Spanish monarchy of Ferdinand VI, who ruled between 1746 and 1759. It’s also known as a “Pillar Coin,” because of the design. The obverse features a crowned Bourbon coat of arms. The reverse features crowned globes flanked by crowned and bannered pillars, over water. We note the magnificent crisp and virtually complete strike. Rolling this coin back and forth under a strong light also casts a mint cartwheel luster. Definitely in the Condition Census and a candidate for the finest known. Interestingly, the earliest pillar dates featured a single assayer letter, which was highly atypical (and arguably illegal) for any Spanish colonial issue. A highly demanded early date Peruvian 8 Reales Pillar Dollar from the "JD" assayer, with a centralized brilliant uncirculated luster beaming out over a slightly more subdued peripheral silver sheen on both obverse and reverse. There are a few post-strike contact marks are observed for the grade. Currently there are 19 of this date and Assayer graded by NGC, with 10 finer.
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