Wednesday, 20 July 2022


Get Real! The coins of Brazil

This month the theme for the meeting was the coins of South America. Judging by the response it is not a popular theme for collectors. I am not sure why not. the modern coins of the continent are have an interesting history reflecting the social and political history of the various countries that make up that area. Perhaps South America feels a bit too far away. we did however have tropical weather on the day.

here is something about Brazil.

Following the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, Brazil was claimed for the Portuguese Empire on 22 April 1500. The then largest colony in the world relied on sugar cane and slavery. The first coins were Portuguese followed by Spanish. Coins were counterstamped in 1643 with local denominations.

By the end of the 17th century, sugarcane exports began to decline but the discovery of gold and the Brazilian Gold Rush attracted thousands of new settlers to Brazil from Portugal. Brazil became a major producer of coins. The earliest colonial copper coinage was minted in Portugal in 1693.

In late 1807, Spanish and Napoleonic forces threatened the security of Portugal, causing Prince Regent João, in the name of Queen Maria I, to move the royal court from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro.

With the end of the Peninsular War in 1814 Queen Maria I and Prince Regent João were pressed to return to Portugal. In 1815, to justify continuing to live in Brazil, where the royal court had thrived for six years, the Crown established the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves.

Coins especially copper ones were frequently counterstamped in the early Nineteenth Century.

The Brazilians declared the country's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822. A month later, Prince Pedro was declared the first Emperor of Brazil, with the title of Dom Pedro I, resulting in the foundation of the Empire of Brazil. Portugal recognized Brazil on 29 August 1825.

On 15 November 1889, the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup. A few days later, the national flag was replaced with a new design that included the national motto "Ordem e Progresso". The country was known as the United States of Brazil.  

In half of the first 100 years of republic, the Army ruled directly or through intermediaries.  There was another period of counterstamping in the 1930s.

Civilians returned to power in 1985

In the fiercely disputed 2018 elections, the controversial conservative candidate Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party was elected president. In the early 2020s, Brazil became one of the hardest hit countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving the second-highest death toll worldwide after the United States. Experts have largely blamed the situation on the leadership of President Bolsonaro, who throughout the pandemic has repeatedly downplayed the threat of COVID-19 and dissuaded states and cities from enforcing quarantine measures, prioritising the nation's economy.