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    Felipe V of Spain, Santa Fe 1 Real 1721 NR Assayer "A"

    Felipe V Nuevo Reino Cob Real 1721 assayer A, Felipe V cob 1 Real of Santa Fe de Bogota (Nuevo Reino) produced in 1721 with assayer "A" for Buenaventura de Arce. The bottoms of the date, (1)721, are somewhat visible at 10-11 o'clock on the reverse (column side). 3.13 grams. Restrepo 2012 Type M70-1 or variety, Calico y Trigo Numismatica Espanola (2008) Philip V type 267. The Santa Fe assayer Pedro Garcia de Villanueva worked from 1678 until December 1691.  Captain Buenaventura de Arce was chosen to be his successor by the Real Audiencia on December 12th, 1691.  Gold doubloons (two escudos) of Arce are frequently seen in auctions as many of these popular coins come from the 1715 fleet.  However, his silver coins are seldom offered.  Barriaga records that between 1704 and 1721 no silver coins were produced in Santa Fe except cuartillos (quarter real) which at that time did not bear the king's name or any inscription at all.  By comparison, gold coins were produced during each year in the same period with a total of 59,978 marks (22 karat) minted into escudos and doubloons; if all had been doubloons that would be 2,039,252 pieces. Ignoring the irrelevant aforementioned cuartillos, this is a striking comparison: two million gold doubloons and zero silver. For the year 1722 Barriga recorded silver production of 786 marks in the denominations of 1, 4 and 8 Reales which must include the coins dated 1721. All of the known silver coins of assayer "A" dated before 1704 are in the name of the previous king, Charles II. Therefore, since before 1704 the coins bore the name of the Charles II and since between 1704 and 1721 no silver coins other than cuartillos were produced, the Santa Fe silver coins of Philip V with assayer mark "A" should only be 1721! (The 1722A, M70-2, is likely a 1721 reverse muled with 1722 obverse). The administration of the region was changed in 1717 to a viceroyalty which lasted until 1723, then reestablished in 1739. Therefore, this is one of the first silver coins larger than 1/4 real produced in the new viceroyalty. This coin is remarkably similar to the Fitzwilliam Museum specimen (Restrepo M70-1):  both are 1721 NoRo assayer "A". The Fitzwilliam specimen is round and thin whereas the present is on a typical chunky Santa Fe planchet with sharp edge cuts. The key diagnostic for this specific type is the corded rope circles on both the obverse and reverse. This coin is worthy of further study but this expert and solid analysis by Herman Blanton presents most of the pertinent facts. For the record, coins of this design are known of one, two, four and eight Reales with Heritage selling a Santa Fe 1721 eight Reales in our 2010 CICF auction. This one real is clearly very crude and pierced but for wear it approaches VF. We would like to thank Mr. Herman Blanton for most of the research information on this piece.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    18th-23rd Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 417

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