Celebrating an Amazing 8s milestone
This year I was able to add two coins to my set of Charles III 8 reales and complete the goal of an example from each mint that produced the portrait type issue. I figured out how to add an image to the custom set description and called on some dormant skills to illustrate the achievement. I left the commercial art field just as computer graphics were starting to take off so I remember 'copy' as what the photo department did, 'cut' requiring X-ACTO knife skills and 'paste' coming from the waxing machine.
The active mints during this period, 1772-1789, and up to 1791 for various posthumous issues, were:
Madrid -- Capital of Spain since 1606, its mintmark is distinguished by the crown above the 'M'. It was not one of the main mints of Spain until the 17th century. 8 reales of the macuquina type (cobs) first appeared in 1620 according to Cabeto. Charles III portrait 8 reales were issued from 1772-1775, 1777, 1782 and 1788.
Seville -- An ancient city that produced coins for Romans and Goths, its zenith during the Spanish Empire was its period as the home of La Casa y Audiencia de Indias, the agency for all colonial exploration and trade, from 1503-1717; Seville's mint handled much of the precious metals from the New World. Its mintmark is 'S' Charles III portrait 8 reales were issued from 1772-1779 and 1788.
Mexico City -- The oldest mint in the Americas was established in 1535 in the capital of the Viceroyalty of new Spain. 8 reales were not issued until the reign of Philip II (1555-1598). The common mintmark is 'M' with a small 'o' above. The first two years of the Charles III portrait type are known for the inversion of the mintmark and assayers initials. Charles III portrait 8 reales were issued from 1772-1789 and posthumously in 1789 and 1790 with the bust of Charles III and legend for Charles IV.
Guatemala City -- Capital of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, a large region that included El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Chiapas; minting started in 1733 with old equipment and tools from Mexico City and used the mintmark 'G'. The Charles III portrait 8 reales started in 1772 but were interrupted in 1773 by earthquakes that resulted in the movement of the city and mint away from the highlands, 40 miles to the Northwest. The new mint began 8 reales production again in 1777 and began using the mintmark 'NG' for Nueva Guatemala (New Guatemala). Issues continued until 1789 with posthumous issues in 1789 and 1790 with the bust of Charles III and legend for Charles IV.
Lima -- Capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru, it was granted minting authority in 1565. Starting with the Charles III portrait issues, its mintmark was a monogram combining the letters 'LIMAE'. These continued from 1772-1789, with posthumous issues from 1789-1791 with the bust of Charles III and legend for Charles IV.
Potosí -- Established in 1543 as a mining town at the foot of a mountain with the largest known silver deposit, Potosí was part Alto Perú (Upper Peru), which would be renamed Bolivia in honor of the general and political leader Simón Bolívar. Alto Perú was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru until 1776, when it was shifted to the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in hopes of countering the growing influence of Portugal in the region. With the beginning of milled coinage in 1767 it adopted the mintmark monogram with the letters 'PTS'. Charles III portrait 8 reales were issued from 1773-1789 and posthumously in 1789 and 1790 with the bust of Charles III and legend for Charles IV.
Santiago -- Capital of the Captaincy General of Chile, its mint was first authorized as a private endeavor in 1743. It minted what the region mined which was mainly gold. Charles III brought the mint under the crown in 1770. The mintmark is 'S' with a small 'o' above. Silver issues are scarce and the Charles III 8 reales portraits are known for 1773, maybe 1774, 1775-1789, with posthumous issues from 1789-1791 with the bust of Charles III and legend for Charles IV.
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