3 thoughts on “Where Have all the Four Reales Gone?

  1. Addressing this question from a West Indian perspective my understanding is that the 4 Reale denomination did not see extensive circulation in the West Indies and indeed was not generally minted in the Spanish-American mints in the same huge quantities as the 8 Reale coins.
    There are two official references to 4 Reale coins being countermarked in the West Indies. Firstly there is the November 1758 Jamaica Act revaluing the series of 8, 4, 2, 1 and Half-Reale coins by countermarking both sides with a floriate GR within a circular indent. The counterstamped 4 Reale coins circulated at the enhanced value of 3 shillings 4 pence.
    In September 1811 St. Vincent passed a Resolution authorising 8000 8 Reale coins and 2000 4 Reale coins to have a central plug of 1/3 the weight of the respective coin removed. The 4 Reale coin ring would be valued at 4 shillings 6 pence and the plug at 2 shillings 3 pence. No specimens of 4 Reale coins in this configuration are known to exist. There are 4 specimens known of whole 4 Reale coins seemingly from this St. Vincent Resolution stamped S/IX for 9 Bitts (6 shillings 9 pence) suggesting a modification to the Resolution. However, there is some degree of controversy surrounding these 4 specimens questioning their status of being contemporary or modern.
    Ken Eckardt (cutcmkman)

  2. Thanks Ken. Your comment on the reduced number produced in the Spanish-American mints is certainly of interest. The fact they were not utilised in the West Indies certainly supports this.

  3. I should have probably added that the countermarked 4 Reale coins issued under the Jamaica 1758 issue are far fewer in number today than the 8 Reale coins, which are in fact seen quite frequently in the numismatic marketplace. This would suggest possibly much fewer were available for countermarking. Some years ago the 4 Reale coin was considered quite a rare coin, but a few more examples have since turned up in recent years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s