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Likely Finest of a Handful Known

Joao V 6400 Reis 1727B, KM134, Russo-81, Shield Type 1, AU Details NGC, Surface Hairlines. The discovery of gold in the large portion of Brazil in what is today the state of Minas Gerais made gold mining the main economic activity throughout most of the 18th century. The Portuguese used the gold which flowed out of Brazilian rivers and hillsides to pay for industrialized goods from the British (mainly weapons) and to build magnificent Baroque monuments in the mother land and sent millions to Rome for sanctifications and indulgences. The gold rush was indeed intense during much part of the first half of the century with Portugal losing some 400,000 people (or 20% of its population) who traveled to the Brazilian colony in search of gold riches. It was not until 1727 that the monetary system of the Escudos came to be with denominations in multiples. Certainly the 6400 Reis (4 Escudos or Pe├ža) was the most prolifically coined gold piece for over 100 years. In the early years, coining was extremely limited and the early 6400 Reis of 1727 through 1732 are all extremely rare with many dates being unique or just a few specimens known. It is a privilege to offer 1727 6400's from both the Bahia mint (this lot) and the Rio mint (the next lot) in the same auction. Even more impressive is the matching near mint state quality of both pieces.
This piece has partial mint brilliance, especially towards the legends, an absolute flawless rim and just great overall eye appeal. The hairlines are so faint that NGC could have graded this coin AU58 just as well.
Much finer than the only other piece we can find, in the collection of the Bank of Espirito Santo in Portugal, which is about XF, cleaned. We expect lively bidding and a central place in a very advanced Brazilian or Portuguese numismatic cabinet.

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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