1980s Through 1990s

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Kings of this period are Ferdinand VI, 1746-1759; Charles III, 1760-1788; Charles IV, 1788-1808; and Ferdinand VII, 1808-1821. The Standard Catalog of Mexican Coins by Colin R. Bruce II and Dr. George W. Vogt is recommended to those who want to study this period in greater depth. The revolutionary period begins in 1810, when a parish priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, issued the call for independence. The first attempts to achieve this were violently suppressed. Hidalgo was executed, but independence did come in 1821.

When Cortez toppled the Aztec Empire, for a time the wealth returning to Spain was merely that taken by the victors from the vanquished. But the business of permanently administering a vast area in the name of the Spanish king, exploiting its natural resources, and funneling the proceeds to Spain quite soon involved the establishment of a mint in Mexico City. This was undertaken in 1536, just 15 years after the end of Aztec dominion. At first, the authorized coins were low denominations: silver quarter, half, 1, 2, 3, and 4 reales, and copper 2 and 4 maravedis.

About good or fair: The coin will be identifiable by date and mint but otherwise badly worn, with only parts of the lettering showing. Such coins are of value only as fillers in a collection until a better example of the date and mintmark can be obtained. indd 29 6/1/11 2:54:04 PM 30 THE GRADING FACTOR Collectors have a variety of grading services from which to choose. This set of Arkansas half dollars that appeared in an Early American History Auctions sale used two of the services. S. coins The subjectivity of grading and the trend toward more classifications becomes more acute when venturing into uncirculated, or mint-state, coins.

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