Unique 1774 Two Reales struck at the Lima Mint Peru and counter stamped 'T. Knight'.


1774-Two-Reales-Head-September-2020
1774-Two-Reales-non-date-September-2020
Unique 1774 Two Reales struck at the Lima Mint Peru and counter stamped 'T. Knight'.
COIN
Unique 1774 Two Reales struck at the Lima Mint Peru and counter stamped 'T. Knight'.
QUALITY
Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 17,500
COMMENTS
If only this coin could talk. This Spanish Two Reales began its life in 1774 at the Lima Mint in Peru and features the portrait of the Spanish King Charles III. Somehow it ended up nearly 13,000 kilometers away in the penal colony of New South Wales and was formally counter stamped with the name of the mysterious 'T. Knight'. And it is the counter stamp that clearly identifies this piece as having circulated in the colony and confirms its status as a coin from the Proclamation era. Furthermore, this piece is unique.
STATUS
Sold September 2020
1774-Two-Reales-non-date-September-2020
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Historians and numismatists have engaged in solid discussions for decades about the use of the term ‘Proclamation’ and its application to foreign coins that circulated in the colony of New South Wales.

Should it be applied to only those coins listed by Governor Philip Gidley King in the Proclamation of 1800?

Or should it include the myriad of other foreign coins that circulated in the colony and that appeared in early records: Government Orders and newspapers?

The counter-stamp ‘T. Knight’ on Australia’s colonial coins has intrigued historians for more than a century and has its own very passionate collector following.

While little is known about the mysterious T. Knight, the fact that five of the 300 surviving Holey Dollars are counter stamped with T. Knight leads us to say that whoever or whatever T. Knight did, he/she must have been a relatively prominent force in the colony.

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