1640 10 dukat Portugaloser sets Dutch coin record

An MS61-graded 1640 10 dukat Portugaloser set a new record for a Dutch coin, at Heritage Auctions last month.

It realised $200,200.

Dutch coin Brazil

The coin was minted in Deventer in the Netherlands in 1640

While the coin was minted in the city of Deventer in the Netherlands, it was circulated in Brazil.

Prior to 1581, when it declared independence, the Netherlands had been a subject of the Spanish empire.

In the 1630s, the fledgling nation took over a swathe of northern Brazil from the Portuguese.  

Soon after, rumours arrived in Holland that 10 dukat coins were in high demand in Brazil.

It was said that the colonists were willing to pay much more than face value for them. 

Private concerns sprang up to produce and ship these coins. They would be described as ‘medals’ rather than coins, in order to get around the dubious legalities of black market currency.

In the end the rumours were discovered to be false, but not before a large number of these Portugalosers had made their way to the new world.

Jacco Scheper, director of Heritage Auctions Europe, explained: "’Ordinary’ Portugalosers can realize more than €100,000 in high grade.

“This Deventer Portugaloser is not only many times more rare, but also was certified to be in uncirculated condition (MS61).

"We expected heavy interest from the whole world for this spectacular coin and the market responded.”

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