A Countermarked Spanish Two Reales (Pistareen) – Peter R. Thompson

In the 18th century most European colonies were chronically short of circulating coins which led to many of them countermarking and/or mutilating specific quantities of any available coin, mostly Spanish American silver.  These would then be issued and accepted by the authorities at an enhanced rate which, together with any mutilation, would deter their export.  Most official (and some unofficial) cuts and countermarks have been positively identified but the simple countermark published here has not.  A possible reason for it is suggested and reports of any similar marks, particularly on coins with a provenance, would be interesting.

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