Karen B. writes: I have a Spanish real minted in 1807 of 90% silver. On the face are the words Carolus IIII DET Gratia (or something close) and a picture of what looks to be the reigning queen of that period. On the back are the words Hispan: ETIND * REX * M * 8R * T * H. These words circle the outer edge of the coin and encircle what appears to be a Spanish crest with a bugle on either side. I know this is an 8 real piece. It is packaged in card board display case with a printed history of the Spanish reals and how these were Americas first silver dollars. You can see evidence where merchants along the way have made “tick” or “scratch” marks to test the purity of the coin. All features and words are visible and legible and in general I would rate this coin fair to good condition. Any assistance with finding a marketable price for this coin will be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Your coin is a 1807 Mexico (colonial) Portrait 8 Reales, Assayer TH. The coin features a bust of King Charles IV of Spain. The abbreviated Latin legends are CAROLUS IIII DEI.GRATIA and continuing on the reverse HISPAN. ET IND. REX or in English, Charles IV by the Grace of G-d, King of Spain and the Indies.
The reverse shows a crowned shield with alternating castles and lions (representing Castile and Leon in Spain). The Pillars of Hercules are on either side.
This long running series was minted all over Latin American and in Spain and was, at the time, the world standard for money. Actually, the “Milled Dollar” or as it was known later the “Pillar Dollar” precedes the Portrait issues by a good number of years. It is true that the United States monetary system was modeled on the Pillar and Portrait 8 reales and in fact these coins were sanctioned as legal tender by the U.S. Congress until 1858.
These coins are hardly rare, especially in average circulated condition and are usually available in quantity. Rare dates and varieties are exceptions. There are several varieties of the Mexico 1807 8 Reales with the 1807/6 the most desirable. Condition is paramount as collectors want the highest possible quality for their collections. Coins with test marks, chop marks or evidence of filing or cleaning bring far less than undamaged pieces.
General values for this particular coin run from $25 -$700 depending on variety and grade.