Brazilian Coins

Part II - Brazilian Empire Issues

Brazil Colonial
Brazil Republic
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Empire of Brazil (1822-1889)

Here Brazil was an Independent Empire

80 Reis 1828 Rio mint uncirculated

(Ramiro Matos, M3C Numismatica, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil)

80 Reis 1828 Sao Paulo mint VF

(SNB Auction, Sao Paulo, Brazil)

40 Reis 1832 Rio
Counterstamp "40" over an old 80 Reis

(purchased from Riveblo De Natal, Sao Paulo)

You can still see traces of the original "80" under the "40". The counterstamps in Brazil are called "com carimbo" or "with stamp" in the price guides. Usually they halved the value of the coin but for lightweight high value pieces sometimes made it 1/4. My understanding is that the coins were originally struck for circulation elsewhere: in some of the colonies but in order to circulate in Brazil, the value was too high; thus they had to be downgraded.

I am having a terrible time obtaining historical info on the coinage history of Brazil. The above came from "As Moedas Contam a Historia do Brazil, 2007. Any good book references would be appreciated.

640 Reis 1824 choice uncirculated

(Alex Siegel)

My only non-960 early denomination.

960 Reis  1822 almost uncirculated struck over

(SNB Auction)

960 Reis 1823 choice uncirculated
struck over Mo Chas IIII armoured Bust
(Alex Siegel)

catalogs $85 in Krause in mint state.

Before returning to Portugal in 1821 John made his son Dom Pedro I regent of Brazil.

This is my only 960 coin of Dom Pedro I. He is described as an autocratic ruler who was forced to abdicate in favor of his 5 year-old son Dom Pedro II in 1831.

4000 Reis 1824 uncirculated NGC-63
Daniel F. Sedwick Auction
# 14, Oct 30th, 2013, lot 138
(photo by Augi Garcia)

Also pecas (6400 reis) were struck at this time. These represented 10 standard Brazilian silver dollars of 640 reis each, however, many of the pecas of this era are quite rare in all grades.

history notes.

Second Silver Series

[or issue or type]
1834 - 1847

Due to persistant inflation the actual value of a silver 960 reis was around 1200 reis in the 1830's. So logically, the Brazilian Government issued a new series of coins following the 960, & 640 denominations preceeding. These were the 2nd Silver Series of 1200 reis along with 2/3rds or 800 reis and 400 reis, 200 reis, and 100 reis. Finess was .9166 and the weights slightly exceeded the 960's (I believe).

Unfortunately [or fortunately, depending on viewpoint] mintages were a whooping 891 pieces for the 1st year of issue (1834) and typical mintages of around 1000 - 2000 pieces for subsequent years (for the 1200 reis). They were NOT well received, the designs, unfortunately were similar to the preceeding 960's and 640's.

All of them are apparently still in existance today, being passed around at local coin shows. Thus mishandled AU's and EXF's are common. I even found an 1846 100 reis at a small street fair (but didn't buy it due to condition).


1200 Reis 1843 AU

These represented the actual silver value of the 960 reis but with the current circulating value.

history notes.

400 Reis 184_ AU

circulating value.

history notes.

200 Reis 184_ AU

circulating value.

100 Reis 1846 ch unc

circulating value.

history notes.>

20,000 Reis 1851
uncirculated, NGC-64
(Daniel F. Sedwick Auction
# 15, May 1-2nd, 2014, lot 94)
(photo by Augustin ["Augi"]Garcia-Barneche)

These are surprisingly large in size although are but a fraction of the large gold 20,000 reis of the 1724 - 27 era.

Third Silver Series

[or issue or type]
1851 - end of the reis

This series worked and was accepted by the population. Fineness was still .9166 and the series is popularly collected in Brazil although much less so outside of the country. Counterfeits of rarer dates exist.

Commencing in 1900 the reis underwent severe inflation with silver coins in diminishing size, fineness: .500 fine, then bronze. Ultimately the reis became nearly worthless and after nearly 300 years of circulation, this currency was replaced by the Cruzeiro on Oct 5th, 1942. Today Brazil is on it's 9th currency.


2000 Reis  (crown or dollar size)
1856 Peter II (non-portrait)

(Karl Stephens  Fallbrook, CA)

When Dom Pedro II (Peter II) became 18 in 1840 the Parliment declared he was old enough to rule. He was a very capable ruler and passed many reforms.

2000 Reis  1888   Peter II

(Alex Siegel  Houston, TX, ca. 1999)

These coins are quite common in high grade. I believe they were produced as a commemorative for the outgoing King and then deposited in banks as specie where they sat for many years in mint state. I'll have to research this further, but for some reason, these coins are very common in mint state.

Pedro II was forced to abdicate in 1889. He is described as one of the most enlightened rulers of his day. The actions of his grandfather, father, & himself saved Brazil from undergoing a Revolution to become independent from Portugal. Instead the transition happened peacefully.

200 Reis 1865/4 choice uncirculated

(Alex Siegel)

Starting in the 1810's Brazil gradually moved to a regular decimal sytem for its coinage, although keeping the very high units of the reis. Here is where you begin to see 4,000 reis gold coins instead of of just 6,400 reis. The silver and bronze stayed in the old units up until the 1830's though.


Brazil Colonial
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