Mexico 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 Reales  1732 to 1771
Mexico 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 Reales 1732 to 1771

These old coins from Spanish Mexio are great collectibles. Lots of people lump these coins together under a generic term 'pillar dollar,' but there are other designs with pillars also, so be careful you are looking at the right coin. The denominations are 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 reales, which are predecessors of America's 5, 10, 25, 50 cents, and one dollar.

The coins have different Spanish kings during different periods of time. For coins with this pattern, the kings of Spain were Philip (Phs), Ferdinand (Ferd, Ferdnd, Frdnd, Frd), and Charles (Carlos, Carolus, Carolvs, Carol, Car). Look for the name on the side with the shield and crown. The coin in our picture has King Charles (Carolvs) III name on it.

The capital M with small o (oM or Mo) is the mint mark for Mexico City. Pillar dollars from other countries can be worth more than those from Mexico, but not always. You will find coins like these issued in Spanish colonies Columbia, Guatemala, and Peru. To identify which is which, subtle differences must be sought out.

Be sure you understand what 'catalog' means. Use our Terminology page.

The first 1732 8 reales was issued in Mexico City and is very rare. Modern reproductions of it are common and worth a few US dollars, depending on silver content. Please view our appraisal page for the modern replicas at this CoinQuest link.

Beware also of coins dated 1752. There is a well-known counterfeit of this date, shown here.

Here are typical catalog values for coins like our picture between 1732 and 1771 in US dollars. These values apply (approximately) to all dates (an assayers initials) except as noted below the listings. Be sure to check the Terminology page to interpret these values properly.

1/2 REAL, 16 mm diameter 0.050 troy ounces silver
worn: $30
average circulated (like our picture): $120
well preserved: $180

1 REAL, 21 mm diameter 0.100 troy ounces silver
worn: $35
average circulated (like our picture): $100
well preserved: $160

2 REALES, 26 mm diameter 0.200 troy ounces silver
worn: $45
average circulated (like our picture): $140
well preserved: $200

4 REALES, 33 mm diameter 0.399 troy ounces silver
worn: $120
average circulated (like our picture): $280
well preserved: $600

8 REALES, 39 mm diameter 0.798 troy ounces silver
worn: $100
average circulated (like our picture): $200
well preserved: $300

There are *better dates* in these series. We have cited the important examples below with catalog values for coins in worn condition. Coins in better condition are worth more:

1/2 REAL
1732: $400
1733: $300

1732: $500
1733: $150

1732: $800
1733: $450
1750 PHS V D G HISP ET IND R: $500 (must have Philip)

1732: $2000
1733: $1500
1764: $400
1765: $350
1766: $350

1732: extremely rare, beware of counterfeits
1733 MF: $700
1754 MM: $250
1762 MF: $500
1763 MM: $400

Be sure to use our Important Terminology link to interpret these values.

Coin: 1197 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: Brian, Fri, 04-Sep-2009 02:00:13 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sat, 18-May-2013 19:02:32 GMT
Reviewed and updated by CoinQuest, appraisal ok., Wed, 27-Aug-2014 13:50:50 GMT
Requester description: 1757 Silver piece of eight Two faces if the globe between the Pillars of Hercules at the Straits of Gibraltar with 'plus vltra'(more beyond) was spanish bragging they owned the world. Two Globes. Coin used around the world. U.S. legal tender until 1857. VTRAQUE VNUM FERDND HISPAN ET IND REX VTRA QUE
Tags: mexico 1 2 4 8 reales mex mexicana mexicanos mexio mexicano mexican real reale silver piece eight two globe sphere pillars column hercules straits gibraltar plus vltra ultra spanish spain world globes legal tender vtraque vnum ferdnd ferdinand hispan et ind india rex vtra que feinsilber sliver siver argent silber silverish silb peice pieces spheres balls earth hemisphere orb ball piller columns upright pillar hercvlis herakles hercule herculane hercvles heracles heraclius herculius espana spainish hispanarvim espanas hispanarvm hispaniarum hispanirvm spanich hispanarium hispana espania espa hisp espanola hispa spai hispaniarvm worlds utraque ferd frd furdinand ferdinandvs frdnd ferdinan ferdinandus furdinan ferdin car carol charles crown shield philip carolus phs cars auto automobile karolus karolvs carlos karol carl carlovs carlosi karl carlo carlvs charlie carolvs crowned tiara crowns tiarra crowning tiera arms sheild coats shiled crests chevrons shild escucheon insignia arm coat crested crest chevron creast shields escutcheon philipe philippvs phil filip philipvs felipe philippus philippe phillip ribbon wave waves waving waive wavy wavey


Dear CoinQuest, I have acquired a coin very similar to the one in your picture, which is well kept and dates 1932, I profoundly doubt it is a counterfeit and would like more information, is it possible to start an email conversation? - ein
Absolutely. We do not collect e-mail addresses, so the only way to start is for you to press the 'Contact' button at the top of the home page. You mean the coin is dated 1732, not 1932? - CoinQuest (Paul)

I've had one of these coins since graduation in 1983, my uncle was a Captain, a scuba tour guide, a diver and an instructor in the Florida Keys for many years. I think my coin is authentic too. I'll follow the last directions then too. - Janet

How many grams 'out' from 27 should one accept with a shipwreck coin before becoming suspicious? I have acquired a shipwreck coin from a dealer in America that they said came from the Reijgersdaal. It weighs just under 24 g. - Sonali
The Reijgersdaal was a Dutch ship bound for the West Indies which struck a reef and sunk off the coast of Africa in 1747. Silver coins spending a lot of time in wet conditions, especially salt water, often see a bit of weight loss. Still, most shipwreck 8 reales are still found with a weight of about 26 grams, or a smidgen more. With that being said, there are known shipwreck coins with weights as low as 17.8 grams! These are all 'cob coins' however, and coins like the one in the picture on this page do very rarely weigh less than 26 grams. if your coin is a 'cob coin' strike, of a rough shape that is far from perfectly round, it could easily be genuine at 24 grams. - CoinQuest (Chris)

Is the - VTRAQUE VNUM 1743 ETIND REX PHILIP VDG HISPAN (Copy) Excellent condition - worth anything?
Thank you.
Rick - Rick
The copies typically don't sell for more than a few dollars at most. They are widely available and can often be found in a foreign coin/token bin for less than a dollar. - CoinQuest (Todd)






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