MEXICO. Pattern 8 Reales, 1840-DoOMC. NGC AU-53.
By Chris Chatigny, Numismatist & Stack’s Bowers Cataloger ………
Stack’s Bowers November Baltimore is just a few days away, and the excitement is certainly building. For World coins, the November Baltimore sale has historically been a great venue for Latin American coinage, specifically that of Mexico. With nearly 400 lots of Mexican coins and currency included in the upcoming sale, there should be something offered for nearly every collector of this genre. One of the highlights from this group is a scarcely seen pattern from the provincial mint of Durango.
The obverse features the classic Cap and Ray design that evokes the Liberty the Mexican people earned just years before this coin was produced. The Liberty Cap (Phrygian Cap) is a symbol taken from the French Revolution, based on a misrepresentation of the Roman “Pileus,” which was a similarly shaped hat that freed slaves would wear. The lower inscription states: “8 R. A. Do. 1840. O.M. C. Ds. 20 Gs.” These symbols stand for: “8 Reales, Durango (as a mintmark), the date of 1840, the initials of the private French minting firm “Oeschger Mesdach & Co,” and finally the fineness, as 10 Dineros, 20 Granos.”
The reverse displays the iconic Mexican eagle and cactus motif, which is still in use as the Official Coat of Arms of Mexico. The resplendent Mexican eagle is perched atop a cactus, holding a writhing snake in its talons and beak. An oak and laurel half-wreath appears below the motif, with the upper inscription “Republica Mexicana” completing the design. This interesting and attractive pattern in silvered bronze from the Durango mint is sure to hold a place of pride in its next collection.
Look for this and other world numismatic rarities in the upcoming Stacks Bowers Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo.