One of just 16 extant 1822 Brazilian Pedro I gold 6400 reis coins has starred at Heritage Auctions' World & Ancient Coin Signature Auction - setting a new record for a Brazilian coin at auction.
The coin sold for $499,375 at the January 5-6 sale in New York, demolishing its $300,000 high estimate.
The coin's strong price can be attributed in large part to its importance and rarity. The 6400 reis from 1822 was the first coin produced in the newly independent country. What is more, only 64 were ever struck, just 16 exist today and only nine are in private ownership.
In "superb condition for the type", according to Heritage, the AU55-graded piece (NGC) also arrived at the auction with superb provenance, having once resided in the collection of famed coin collector Augusto Souza Lobo.
The coins were presented to guests at the coronation of Brazil's first emperor, Pedro I, who was apparently unhappy with the design. Coins produced the following year dispensed with the laurel wreath, instead depicting Pedro in full military regalia.
A Mexican Felipe V gold royal cob 8 escudos from 1711 also put in a good performance.
Called "one of the most important coins of the Spanish Colonial period" by Heritage, it sold for $293,750, its rarity being a major factor. Just 50 Mexican royal 8 escudos exist, with only two known that date from 1711.
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