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    Republic Caps and Rays 8 Reales 1860 Ga-JG AU Details (Cleaning) PCGS, Guadalajara mint, KM377.6, DP-Ga42. The extremely rare "Dot inside tail" variety. A lustrous and well-detailed example, with only limited wear on the high points, lightly cleaned but nevertheless quite handsome and showing unusually sharp details on the eagle. This extremely rare "dot inside tail variety" may appear at first glance as a small die variety yet represents instead a most interesting and historical necessity issue, testimony to the turbulent times faced by Guadalajara during the Reform War of 1858-1861 (see pages 102-103 in "Boletín de la Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía y Estadística" (1871)). Besieged in Guadalajara, General Severo del Castillo ordered by edict of September 23, 1860 to requisition gold and silver projecting to mint coins. He succeeded in gathering 1,600 marks of silver,  forcing mint employees, including engraver Albino del Moral (replacing Mint director Antonio Solana who had escaped), to mint the silver in coins of 8 Reales. Trying to comply with the orders of Liberal General Pedro Ogazon who had declared the minting to be illegal, Moral proceeded to put a dot in the loop of the snake's tail under the right wing of the eagle on the reverse in order to differentiate this issue. Reportedly, the requisitioned silver was not properly refined and thus the minted coins were debased. Indeed, the surfaces of the present coin present the slightly dull appearance of debased issues despite being quite lustrous as noted previously. After the fall of Castillo's forces, Ogazon issued a decrees on October 17 and then on November 18, 1860 to recall the "counterfeit coinage that was manufactured by the rebels of Guadalajara during the siege of the city". He gave a term of two months and designated 11 different commercial stores to receive and exchange the allegedly debased issue at face value (copies of the original decrees can be found in pp. 2-5. of "Coleccion de los decretos, circulares y ordenes de los poderes legislativo y ejecutivo del estado de Jalisco" (Vol.1, 1872)). The original mintage of this issue can be estimated from the requisitioned 1,600 marks (at ca. 8.5 coins of 8 Reales per mark) at a measly 13,600 coins. Since the recalling operation must have been quite effective since offering to exchange prohibited and debased coinage at face value (and with 11 different exchange locations!), it is no surprise that surviving specimens are very few, the present one clearly belonging to the finest known. An extremely rare and historical necessity issue.

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    4th-5th Sunday-Monday
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