By Chris Chatigny, Numismatist & Cataloger – Stacks Bowers ……
The January New York International (NYINC) Auction is rapidly growing into an impressive sale. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to preview another highlight from the sale: a gold Brazilian 20,000 Reis from the reign of Joao V, struck by the colony of Brazil, at the height of the Portuguese overseas trade empire.
Diamond and gold deposits found in Brazil provided Portugal (and King Joao V) with substantial profits. Speculation has it that Portugal collected more gold from Brazil in a few decades than Spain took from the rest of Central and South America over 400 years. The diamond mines were also a considerable boon to the royal coffers. This private wealth enabled Joao V to rule without his council, the Portuguese Cortes, effectively allowing him to become an absolute monarch. The proliferation of gold into Portugal resulted in large denomination gold pieces being minted with regularity.
The obverse design features the arms of the King of Portugal, surmounted by a massive crown. Five floral designs and the numerals 20000 flank the arms. The inscription reads in English as: “Joao V, by the Grace of God, King of Portugal and the Algarves.” A cross with an “M” in each angle dominates the reverse design, with the “M” designating the Minas Gerais mint. The date of 1726 appears above cross, while a motto appears as the outer inscription, spaced by four petaled floral designs. The Latin motto is: “In Hoc Signo Vinces,” which translates to “In this sign thou shalt conquer.” The offered piece displays appealing medium orange toning and has nice luster throughout.
We are now accepting consignments of world and ancient coins as well as world paper money for our January 2017 New York International Auction and Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our April 2017 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.