GUATEMALA 2 reales 1861


GUATEMALA, REPUBLIC, 2 reales, 1861, silver, KM134, shallow strike reverse, VF+

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Guatemala was and is the center of Mayan culture. The Spanish had a hard time subduing them, but they eventually did. They formed the Captaincy General of Guatemala. In 1821 it broke away from Spain, briefly joined the Mexican Empire, then left that arrangement. It was part of the Central American Republic from 1823 to 1841. With the rest of the republics of Central America it indulged in intermal turmoil and external wars. During one of the dictatorships it adopted the unique currency, the quetzal, named after the amazing bird, that it still uses today.

Because Eurasia is one big thing large masses of people have sloshed bloodily back and forth for thousands of years. But because of the geological choke point that is now Panama such migrations can’t happen between North and South America, and they are essentially two different places. Whatever nation controls the choke point has the upper hand in the Western hemisphere.

The North America category: the big three, the Central American nations, and a bunch of island nations and other political entities in the Caribbean Sea. Greenland we’re putting with Europe. By that criterion we should put Martinique and Aruba with Europe too, but we’re not. I’m not even sure why. Doesn’t matter anyway. Almost all of you are searching for modern coins by country, not by region.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.