The August 19-20 ANA World’s Fair of Money Signature Auction of World and Ancient Coins from Heritage Auctions features, among many other treasures, a Mexican Philip V gold “Royal” 8 Escudos 1715 Mo-J MS62 NGC.
1715 is an enormously popular date in the 8 Escudos series, not least for its strong ties to the famed 1715 Plate Fleet, with even the somewhat more common Cob 8 Escudos from this year bringing marked premiums. However, this example bears no evidence whatsoever of any time spent underwater, the strike fresh and gleaming with perhaps only the most minor evidence of die rust or stippling in the center of the royal Spanish shield. Moreover, it is executed to a standard and level of craftsmanship that is plainly only imaginable within this redondo series, hardly a flaw existing anywhere to limit its glorious grade—currently the finest for this subvariety.
While surrounding dates for this type are known to exist in finer technical states, this becomes almost a moot point when considering the rarity of the particular selection presented here. Calicó recorded only one example of this “large rosettes” variety known in his book La Onza as of 2004 (from different dies), while the date itself was entirely missing from Norweb, Gerber, Karon, Millennia, and Bowers and Ruddy’s 1977 sale of the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet.
Interestingly, a different example of this date is now plated in the 2019 edition of Numismática Española, with a distinctive flan flaw on the reverse. As such this coin is quite possibly only the third known example, and a numismatic centerpiece of the entire Mexican colonial series worthy of the utmost place of prominence in its future owner’s cabinet.