Brazil 960 Reis, minted in 1820, in Very Fine condition. Overstrike on Spanish 8 Reales.
The Brazilian government overstruck the 960 reis on a wide variety of silver crown "host coins." Examples of overstrikes include Spanish 8 Reales, British Crowns, and even early U.S. silver dollars. This particular coin was originally a Spanish/Peruvian 8 Reales coin before being repurposed by the Brazilians.
In the early 1800's, Brazil was still a colony of Portugal. In 1807, Napoleon invaded Portugal, forcing the Portuguese royal family to flee across the Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro. Rio became the new seat of the Portuguese Empire. The massive upkeep of the royal court was too expensive for the nascent Brazilian economy to bear. In an effort to pay for these expenses, Dom João VI (AKA John VI) ordered Spanish 8 reales coins (valued at 800 reis on the international market) to be restruck and counterstamped as Brazilian 960 reis. This handy profit helped keep João and his family comfortable in their new tropical home.
|Metal Alloy||Silver (.903 fine)|
|Obverse||"JOANNES VI D G PORT BRAS ET ALG REX"
(JOANNES VI DEI GRATIA PORTUGAL BRASIL ET ALGARVE REX)
"John VI, by the Grace of God, King of Portugal, Brazil and Algarve"
|Reverse||"SUBQ SIGN NATA STAB"
(SUBQUO SIGNO NATA STABILI)
"Born under a steady sign"
|Mintmarks||R (Rio de Janeiro), B (Bahia)|