World Coins

Gold 8-escudo coin of King Charles IV highlights Cayon’s Sept. 28 sale

A rare Spanish gold 8-escudo coin from Madrid dated 1790 is one of many highlights of Cayon’s Sept. 28 auction of coins focused on Charles IV.

Images courtesy of Cayon.

When Charles IV ascended to the throne on Dec. 14, 1788, it was too late in the year to make new coins bearing his image.

In fact, more than a year would pass before his new coins were authorized. The Royal Order of Jan. 6, 1790, commanded that new coins bearing his image be struck, but with a year date coinciding with the beginning of his reign.

Mint documents for Madrid suggest that 15,648 gold 8-escudo coins were struck in 1790, but most of that mintage must have carried the 1788 date, because 1790-dated coins are extremely rare, according to Spanish auction house Cayon, and 1789-dated issues from Madrid apparently do not exist.

The auction firm offers an example of the 1790-dated rarity in its Sept. 28 auction of 704 lots of coins of Carlos IV (Charles IV), who reigned from the day he took the throne in late 1788 to March 19, 1808.

The gold 8-escudo coin in the auction bears the MF initials of the assayers Manuel de Lamas and Francisco de Herrera.

The auction firm designates the coin as About Uncirculated/Uncirculated, noting that it has “Soft and very fine lines from having been rubbed,” and that the coin displays “Excess metal at the base of the bust.”

The firm has assigned the coin a pre-sale estimate of €3,500 ($3,469 U.S.).

The lot immediately preceding this example is one of the 1788-dated coins (from the same assayers), graded About Uncirculated. It has an estimate of €2,500 ($2,480 U.S.).

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