Posts Tagged ‘collector coins’


As you know, it’s hard to know what you might find when looking into a dealers showcase these days.  Recently I found two beautifully toned Milled Bust Pillar Dollars, both from the Mexico City Mint.  One from 1808 and the second from 1820.  While often referred to as a Pillar Dollar these coins are more accurately called Milled Bust Spanish Dollars.  The obverse of the 1808 example illustrates the bust of Charles IV while the reverse has the Pillars of Hercules, so familiar from the earlier Cobs.

There were a total of  twelve colonial mints located in; Mexico City, Santo Domingo, Lima, La Plata, Potosi, Panama City, Cartegena, Bogota, Cuzco, Guatemala, Santiago and Popayan.  These twelve mints produced a total of five different types of silver reales.  They were, pillar, shield, pillar and waves, milled pillar and milled bust (above 1808).  These were produced during Spain’s amazing 300 years of colonial rule.

The milled bust coins, also referred to as bust or portrait dollars,  were minted at the Mexico City mint from 1772 until 1821, when Mexico won its independence from Spain.  Like the milled pillar dollar, bust dollars circulated throughout the world, even serving as legal currency in the United States until 1857.   Mexico City coins are easily identified by their mintmark, an M with a small o above.

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