Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Overstrike Coin From Brazil-1817 960 Reis-My Collection

The early 1800's saw the continued upheaval of Europe, as Napoleon expanded the French dominion over the continent. One state considered to be 'rebellious' under the French-proclaimed Contiental System was Portugal. In 1807, aided by Spain, French armies invaded Portugal and occupied the capital, Lisbon. This action prompted King Joao VI of Portugal and his royal family to flee from the peninsula to the Portuguese colony of Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro was not prepared to become the new capital of Portugal, or the host of the king and his extensive retinue. Expenses increased dramatically in the colony and economic problems soon followed.

The circulating crown-sized silver coin of the time was the Spanish colonial 8 reales, mostly bust-type (post 1771/2), from the mints in Mexico City, Lima, and Potosi. In an effort to use state power to defray its own costs (a tactic abused many times over by the Spanish years before this), King Joao VI ordered the revaluation of the coins.

Up to that point, Spanish 8 reales were equivalent to about 750 reis (the reis being a monetary unit of Portugal, with 320 reis = 1 pataca). The coins were collected and overstruck with the coat of arms of Portugal, and with a value of 960 reis (3 patacas). The coin was called, among other names, the Novo Crusado. The revaluation generated a 'profit' of 25% per overstrike.

Sub GeoNot Available
Coinage TypeMilled Coinage
Denomination960 Reis
Obverse DescriptionCrowned arms, denomination
Reverse DescriptionSash with initial crosses globe within cross
Actual Weight (oz.)0.775

*In December 1788 Charles III of Spain died and the throne was taken by Charles IV. However, Spanish colonial coins of 1789 can have one or the other named, depending on how early in the year it was minted. The bust remained Charles III for several years more.

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