The Pedro I Coronation 6400 Reis gold coin is widely regarded as the most important coin in Brazilian numismatics. The Heritage World Coin Department will be holding an auction on January 5th and 6th,2014, in New York City in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Fair. Pedro de Alcantara Serafin was born on October 12, 1798, near Lisbon. The royal family left Portugal in 1807 when Napoleon came close to Lisbon. Pedro I was well received among the Brazilian people, so when Portugal terminated the then current government in Brazil, Portugal demanded he come back to Europe. The people insisted that Pedro I remain with them, and he did so. This did not go over too well with the Portuguese, and they were not interested in the idea of the Brazilian people forming their own government. Pedro 1 did not back down, and he sided with the Brazilians and remained with them.
The year 1822 holds one of the most significant events in Brazilian history. Pedro I was coroneted on December 1, of that year, at the Inauguration Ball. The coronation coin was made to commemorate this historical day. The denomination of this coronation coin is 6,400 Reis. There were only 64 coins minted, with 10 to 12 being known today. Several of the known examples are in museums.
This coin will be the 2nd piece that Heritage has auctioned. The first time Heritage offered one of these exceedingly rare coins was at the World & Ancient Coin Auction during the World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois, in April of 2012. That specimen was pedigreed to Louis Eliasberg, who owned one of the greatest coin collections of all time. It crossed the auction block at $138,000. The coin was in a VF Details NGC holder. The one that will be selling next January is graded AU-55 by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and is estimated to sell anywhere from $200,000 to $400,000.
Cristiano Bierrenbach, Heritage Vice President of International Numismatics, states that “Although not the rarest, the Coronation piece of Pedro I is certainly the most charismatic and important piece of the Brazilian Collection. Of the less than 10 pieces in private hands, Dr. Monteiro’s coin is certainly one the finest known with provenance dating back to Souza Lobo’s collection in 1900. In the 1940’s it belonged to Brazilian magnate Guilherme Guinle. Dr. Monteiro purchased the coin, together with its pattern in copper, privately in 1986.”
The sale of this coin is going to be one of the highlights of the upcoming auction, and it will be one of the most talked about items in Brazilian numismatics for many months into the future. Due to the extreme rarity of this coin, it could be many years until another piece ever comes to auction. Special thanks to Mark Feld and Cole Schenewerk for proofreading and insights.
By Matt Draiss Matt Draiss is a numismatic intern with Heritage. He is also a numismatic speaker and writer.