PORTUGAL, Maria I, 10 reis, 1799


PORTUGAL, Maria I, 1786-99, 10 reis, 1799, copper, KM309, F

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Maria was named as successor to her father when it became likely that a son would not be produced. She dismissed the Marquis of Pombal, which was a relief to the nobles, who had been repressed. Maria developed mental issues. As the government slipped out of her hands the Napoleonic wars heated up, and Portugal was sucked in.

There were coins issued by Portuguese towns in ancient times. In the middle ages Portuguese coins resembled contemporary Spanish coins, with small billon (base silver) minors. During the colonial period an influx of gold and silver raised standards of living, but over time, Spain turned out to have a better economic position.

The political arrangements that resulted in the nations of modern Europe began to emerge out of anarchy starting in the 7th century AD or so. Europe, for our purposes stretches from Greenland to somewhere in Russia. Collectors of Europe would likely include Russia. Collectors of Asia, even though about 2/3 of Russia is in Asia, probably not.

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.