World Coins

Cayón marks 55-year history with sale including Royal 8 reals

This unique 1613/2 Royal silver 8-real coin is one of 55 items offered in Cayón’s 55th anniversary auction Nov. 30 in Madrid.

Images courtesy of Cayón.

Spanish auction firm Cayón marks its 55th anniversary Nov. 30 with a 55-lot auction of rare ancient and world coins, including a selection of Spanish-related material.

The auction comes exactly 55 years after the firm held its first auction in November 1967. In announcing the sale, the firm expressed gratitude for past and current employees and clients.

“And above all we are grateful to our father Juan R. Cayón, a pioneer in almost every respect, a tireless trader, numismatic and book enthusiast, and a splendid father who remains active, alert and involved with coins, medals and notes, which were his passion from childhood,” a message from the firm said.

Total items offered in all of the firm’s auctions, including the anniversary sale to come, is at least 706,240 objects as part of 393,693 lots, according to the firm’s research; the firm notes that its tally may have missed up to 10 auctions.

Special items in the sale

A marquee lot in this anniversary auction is a 1613/2 Royal silver 8-real coin from Mexico City.

The coin, struck under Philip III, features a rotated 2 in the die and is one of the popular, precisely struck examples known as Royals.

The unique example is encapsulated About Uncirculated Details by Numismatic Guaranty Co., a hole keeping it from being a “straight grade” coin.

In the early 1600s, these coins were struck on wide, round planchets, sometimes even convex, at the correct weight. Minting was meticulous in terms of engraving and execution, and above all striking with a full impression, when compared to the rougher coins that preceded them.

The resulting coins were popular and technically excellent, but overly laborious and costly to make, limiting the number of Royals that were struck. Many of the Royals feature a hole, which aligns with the cross figure on the reverse.

The many theories about their purpose include that the Royals may have been for religious usage, the auction house said, with wealthy adherents of the faith absorbing the extra cost required to make them.

The coin has an opening bid of €30,000 ($30,225 U.S.).

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