BOLIVIA 8 REALES 1719 "ROYAL COINAGE" NGC VF PIRATE GOLD COIN TREASURE POTOSI
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales Royal (galano), 1719Y, rare, NGC VF details / holed. S-P43a; KM-R31; Cal-1491. 27.04 grams. Very broad flan that extends beyond the outer border in places, the legends full but slightly doubled, good full inner details (a few weak spots), attractively toned all over, die-match with Lazaro #264 (R3), who notes backwards N's (bold in ANO on this coin) and "condor" ornaments in legends and elsewhere, crudely holed to right of cross / left of pillars. NGC #5940510-008.
Round and perfectly struck presentation pieces traditionally called Royals, now also known as galanos, originated at the Mexico City mint as early as the late 1500s. Recent tradition has maintained that this concept migrated south and began at Potosi in the year 1630, but, as we will show, it was actually implemented in Potosi a few years earlier. According to research by Carlos Lazo Garcia, updated and futher analyzed in Glenn Murray’s book Guia de la Cantidades Acunadas/ Cesas de Potoi y Lima (2016), the first mention of special silver coins made in Potosi is in 1626, when mint documents refer to the manufacture of an uspecified higher category of coinage at a yield of 66 reales per marco (the Castilian mark, equivalent to 230 grams), as opposed to the 67 reales per marco for regular silver coinage, the 1 real difference presumably being the cost for the special production. In subsequent years such coinage was noted by a stated yield of eight pesos (ie. Eight 8 reales, or 64 reales total) plus 2 reales per marco, which is the same amount.
The actual term “galano” does not appear in the Potosi mint documentation until 1646. In 1652, when the coinage design changed after mint fraud, documents show a new, lower yield for galanos: 64 reales (or eight pesos) per marco, equating to a production cost of 3 reales per marco for these special coins. By 1664, the term galanos is used exclusively, rather than referring to these special coins by their yield per marco. For each year the documents show how many partidas (batches) of silver were dedicated to this special, higher-cost coinage. Significantly, several spans do not specifically cite the manufacture of any galanos, namely in 1647-51, 1665-78 and 1702-23.