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The King that never was!


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Years ago I purchased a couple of coins listed as 2 reals Carlos III Spain on a whim and thought nothing more of it. The coins were dated 1707 and 1712 respectively.

About a year ago I was killing time with some convoluted wikipedia surfing and one thing lead to another and before I knew it I was reading a page which dated Carlos III's reign 1759 to 1788.

Now curious I started digging to find that the coins I owned were minted in Barcelona by the last Habsberg pretender to the throne who later became HRE Charles VI.

Now I remember recalling that often coins of pretenders were used by counterfeiters as templates as technically they were not coins of the realm. It got me thinking if the coins in my possession were indeed

from 1707 & 1712 or are they from a later date. Does anyone have any insight on such issues?


Another web search found a similar coin but dated 1708 http://www.vcoins.com/ancient/andysinger/s...p?idProduct=105



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Welcome to the forum.


They are known as pretender issues, and they exist in a lot of places, Scotland, France, Spain, even in Russia. The French and Spanish were the main makers of these, because they seemed to have many pretenders to the throne over time. There are many French and Spanish issues even into the 1870's with the Bourbon(Borbon) dynasties.


The pieces were made to give some authority to the pretender, and also as a model of what their coinage would look like if they actually ascended the throne. often times supporters of their claim would either be given or buy these pieces as a contribution to their cause.


I myself limit myself to only collecting the Scottish Jacobite pretender issues, I have a couple of them from James VIII.

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Many thanks for the welcome!


Very interesting reply. Even more so since I used to "bide" in Scotland. So the actual "money" was not used in circulation per se? Used as tokens? IOU's? or there must have been an exchange rate of sorts, with the rate of exchange depending on political affiliation? i.e. 1=1 if you were of the cause etc... What sort of mintage numbers was James VIII's coinage? I would be delighted to see some pics.


BTW I have attached the reverse of the previously posted coins for completeness.







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