Milled Pillar Spanish Colonial Silver Reales

Posted by on September 12, 2012
1739 Colonial Mexico Silver 8 Reales -Philip V

1739 Colonial Mexico Silver 8 Reales -Philip V

Milled coins started replacing the cob coins with the fourth design, “Milled Pillar”, which were struck from 1732 to 1772.  This is a variation of the “Pillar with Waves” design and between the two pillars are two globes of the New and Old Worlds and a large crown over both.  These were minted in Mexico City, Lima, Potosi and Guatemala.  There are very rare pieces that come from Bogota and Santiago (Chile).

TWO(2)  MO M 2 Reales PILLAR coins,1768 & 1771 El Cazador Shipwreck ,Very Good
TWO(2) MO M 2 Reales PILLAR coins,1768 & 1771 El Cazador Shipwreck ,Very Good
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1771 MO F Mexico 2 Reales PILLAR Coin El Cazador Shipwreck Very Good Condition
1771 MO F Mexico 2 Reales PILLAR Coin El Cazador Shipwreck Very Good Condition
$32.00 (7 Bids)
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1880 Spain 50 Centimos F ** SCARCE King Alfonso XII Spanish Pillars SILVER Coin
1880 Spain 50 Centimos F ** SCARCE King Alfonso XII Spanish Pillars SILVER Coin
$6.99 (1 Bid)
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1767 MO M Mexico 2 Reales PILLAR Coin El Cazador Shipwreck Very Good Condition
1767 MO M Mexico 2 Reales PILLAR Coin El Cazador Shipwreck Very Good Condition
$40.00 (10 Bids)
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1757 El Cazador 2 Reales Pillar Shipwreck Coin NGC Clean, Detailed-rare on ship
1757 El Cazador 2 Reales Pillar Shipwreck Coin NGC Clean, Detailed-rare on ship
$238.88
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1768 4 Reales Spain Pillar Silver Coin Mf Km #96
1768 4 Reales Spain Pillar Silver Coin Mf Km #96
$79.50 (10 Bids)
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1769 MO M  Mexico 1 REALES El Cazador PILLAR Shipwreck Coin,NGC Certified
1769 MO M Mexico 1 REALES El Cazador PILLAR Shipwreck Coin,NGC Certified
$35.05 (11 Bids)
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1771 MO F Mexico 2 Reales PILLAR Coin El Cazador Shipwreck Very Good Condition
1771 MO F Mexico 2 Reales PILLAR Coin El Cazador Shipwreck Very Good Condition
$34.00 (3 Bids)
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1824 PJ Bolivia 8 Reales Draped Laureate Bust Crowned Arms Pillars Monogram KM84
1824 PJ Bolivia 8 Reales Draped Laureate Bust Crowned Arms Pillars Monogram KM84
$97.99
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Mexico City mint struck these from 1732 to 1771.  In 1733 and 1734 the Mexico City mint used the machines to strike irregular shaped shield type silver reales.  Lima’s mint made these from 1752 to 1772.  Potosi minted the milled pillar silver reales in 1767 until 1770.  Guatemala’s mint struck these from 1754 through 1771.  Bogota minted these from 1759 to 1762.

1755 Colonial Santiago Silver 8 Real - obverse - Ferdinand VI

1755 Colonial Santiago Silver 8 Real - obverse - Ferdinand VI

Santiago, Chile opened their mint in 1751 with the machines to produce milled coin.  The Santiago mint was built to primarily strike gold escudos, however they did mint silver reales starting with the milled pillars in 1751 through 1770.  The mint mark is “S” with a small “o” over it.

The introduction of mechanical minting to the Spanish colonies in the New World culminated in the need of Spain to maintain the precious metal content of its coins.  Milling machines added a definite pattern to the edge of each coin that passes through it.  A defined uniformed edge deters clipping.  For all the Silver and gold coming out of Spain’s New World colonies the Spanish kings were unable to solve their fiscal problems.

1770 Potosi Silver 8 Reals - Charles III

1770 Potosi Silver 8 Reals - Charles III

King Charles II’s 1686 coin reform had devalued the silver coins minted by Spain for use in Spain and Europe.  The silver coins were devalued by dropping the silver content considerably and these new coins were called “plata nueva” and the old silver coins were called “plata vieja”.  An old silver 8 reales was set to be equal to 10 reales of the new silver.  The new 8 reales coin was called “Peso Sencillo” and an old 8 reales would be called “Peso Fuerte”.  In order to maintain foreign trade the exchange rate (Pesos de Cambio) was kept on the old silver system which made maintaining the New World silver reales’ integrity even more important.

King Philip V brought in laws in 1728 and 1730 to preserve the integrity of Spanish coins.  Among these orders was that all Spanish mints to be retooled with machines to mill edged coins and the New World coins had a new standard set for them.  The silver peso (8 reales) was reduced to weigh 27.064 grams and the silver content reduced to 91.67% or 24.064 grams of pure silver from 27.468 grams of 93.05% silver or 35.561 grams of pure silver.

1760 Colonial Guatemala Silver 8 Reales - Ferdinand VI

1760 Colonial Guatemala Silver 8 Reales - Ferdinand VI

The obverse has the pillars as the central design however between them are two over lapping globes depicting the New and Old World, above this is the Spanish royal crown.  The Rock of Gibraltar in the ocean is under the globes.  The left pillar is wrapped in a banner with “PLUS” and “VLTR” (the ‘A’ of the motto ‘further beyond’ is implied) in on a banner around the right pillar.  The date is underneath all of this running along the rim of the coin with the mint marks on either side.  Above this is “VTRAQUE VNUM” which is Latin for “and we are one”.

The reverse has Spain’s traditional coat of arms of castles and lions however the Bourbon coat of arms, with its three fleurs-de-lis, is at its center.  A large Spanish royal crown tops off the coat of arms.  The denomination is on the right and the assayer’s mark on the left.  Encircling this and following the coin’s rim is “PHILIP.V.D.G.HISPAN.RTIND.REX” (Philip V King of Spain and the Indies by the Grace of God).  In 1746 when Ferdinand VI took the thrown the reverse legend was altered replacing "PHILIP.V" with "FERDND.VI".  The likewise with Charles III in 1759 as "CAROLUS.III" and on the obverse the upper legend was slightly altered by breaking "VTRAQUE" into two words, ":VTRA QUE".  There are other alterations were made with the smaller coins usually with the lettering.

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