David J. writes: Do the portrait 8 reale coins minted in Mexico City in 1776 have grooved edges? I also see a difference in the portrait in mine versus other examples I’ve seen. Does this coin have more value than just the silver content and does the differences in the portrait increase the value?
Portrait 8 reales have an ornamental edge imparted by the collar that held the coin in place when it was struck. The obverse portrait of King Charles III can vary among Mints as the dies were sunk locally. For example the hair style on an 1776 Seville 8 reales differs completely from a Guatemala Mint example of the same date. There are also variations in other design elements.
Values of Spanish Portrait 8 reales depends on Mint, grade (condition) and sometimes the variety. For example 1776 Guatemala 8 reales is normally seen with a “G” mint mark though there is a far rarer variety or 1776 8 reales with an “NG” mint mark.
Approximate value range for a 1776 Mexico City F.M. 8 reales: $25 – $200.