These old coins from Spanish Mexio are great collectibles. Lots of people lump these coins together under a generic term 'pillar dollar,' but there are other designs with pillars also, so be careful you are looking at the right coin. The denominations are 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 reales, which are predecessors of America's 5, 10, 25, 50 cents, and one dollar.
The coins have different Spanish kings during different periods of time. For coins with this pattern, the kings of Spain were Philip (Phs), Ferdinand (Ferd, Ferdnd, Frdnd, Frd), and Charles (Carlos, Carolus, Carolvs, Carol, Car). Look for the name on the side with the shield and crown. The coin in our picture has King Charles (Carolvs) III name on it.
The capital M with small o (oM or Mo) is the mint mark for Mexico City. Pillar dollars from other countries can be worth more than those from Mexico, but not always. You will find coins like these issued in Spanish colonies Columbia, Guatemala, and Peru. To identify which is which, subtle differences must be sought out.
Be sure you understand what 'catalog' means. Use our Terminology page.
The first 1732 8 reales was issued in Mexico City and is very rare. Modern reproductions of it are common and worth a few US dollars, depending on silver content. Please view our appraisal page for the modern replicas at this CoinQuest link.
Beware also of coins dated 1752. There is a well-known counterfeit of this date, shown here.
Here are typical catalog values for coins like our picture between 1732 and 1771 in US dollars. These values apply (approximately) to all dates (an assayers initials) except as noted below the listings. Be sure to check the Terminology page to interpret these values properly.
1/2 REAL, 16 mm diameter 0.050 troy ounces silver
average circulated (like our picture): $120
well preserved: $180
1 REAL, 21 mm diameter 0.100 troy ounces silver
average circulated (like our picture): $100
well preserved: $160
2 REALES, 26 mm diameter 0.200 troy ounces silver
average circulated (like our picture): $140
well preserved: $200
4 REALES, 33 mm diameter 0.399 troy ounces silver
average circulated (like our picture): $280
well preserved: $600
8 REALES, 39 mm diameter 0.798 troy ounces silver
average circulated (like our picture): $200
well preserved: $300
There are *better dates* in these series. We have cited the important examples below with catalog values for coins in worn condition. Coins in better condition are worth more:
1750 PHS V D G HISP ET IND R: $500 (must have Philip)
1732: extremely rare, beware of counterfeits
1733 MF: $700
1754 MM: $250
1762 MF: $500
1763 MM: $400
Be sure to use our Important Terminology link to interpret these values.