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1776 BOLIVIA Silver Four Reales POTOSI MINT Charles III
This is a silver Four Reales from Bolivia. It was struck at the Potosi Mint and dated 1776 during the reign of Charles III who was King of Spain and “The Indies” from 1759 until his death on December 14, 1788.
The Spanish Eight Real or “Piece of Eight” of Pirate fame was the “Workhorse” coin of the Americas at this time. The Continental Currency of the American Revolution was payable in “Spanish Milled Dollars” or Eight Reales. This coin was like a Half Dollar and would have circulated as such.
Weight: 13.49 Gram, 35 Millimeter, .903 Silver.
Standard Catalog of World Coins by Krause – Mishler #54.
Obverse: CAROLUS • III • DEI • GRATIA • 1776 • Charles the Third, By the Grace of God – Laureate Roman style bust of King Charles III of Spain right.
Reverse: HISPAN • ET • IND • REX • PTS • J • R • King of Spain and the Indies – the PTS is in Monogram and is the Potosi Mint Mark, the J is for the Assayer Jose de Bargas Flores who served from 1767 until 1776 and the R is for Assayer Raimundo de Iturriaga 1767 – 1795.
Crowned Coat of Arms showing the Lions of Leon and the Castles of Castile, surmounted by the Lilies of Bourbon France (added after the War of the Spanish Succession). The Pomegranate at the bottom is for Navarre. Between Two Pillars representing the Pillars of Hercules (The Straits of Gibraltar) with a Ribbon on them reading PLVS VLTRA (meaning “More Beyond”).
The Coin: A decent example, it saw lots of circulation, shows considerable wear and has some serious scratches and marks. It has also been rather harshly cleaned on both sides. But this is a rather scarce and genuine piece of American Currency from the very year of the American Revolution. As grading is subjective please see the pictures and judge for yourself.
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