Portugal - D. Manuel I (1495-1521) - Gold - Português; +I:EmɅͶVEL.R:PORTVGɅLIE:ɅL.C.VL.IͶ:Ʌ.D:G / C.Ͷ:C.ETHIOPIE:ɅRɅBIE:PERSIE:I: // :IͶ: :HOC: :SIGͶO: :ViͶCES:; reverse: two points vertically arranged above top arm of cross (instead of the usual three points horizontally aligned; unprecedented reverse); rim with imperfection on top; Very Rare; G.74.07/G.-, JS E1.1; 35.12g ; VF+/VF
Testimony to the amazement of the world and the prestige of the king of the country ("... And because gold coins generally circulate in foreign Kingdoms and because of them much is retained by the Kings that make them and their wealth and nobility..." was contained in King João II’s justification for minting his Justos), thus the coin known as the "Português" was certainly struck from the beginning of the reign of King Manuel I so that it could be placed in the armada of the Discovery of India, which also formed na embassy to the Zamorin. Whether this specific minting was undertaken in the Kingdom or outside it has long been debated. Although nothing is known that refers to the starting date of the minting of these coins, it is inferred that it took place before the first journey to India, through the accounts of Gaspar Correia, a conscientious and honest informer, in "Lendas da Índia", regarding Vasco da Gama's first voyage and his gift of them. It is also likely that the Lisbon Mint (Casa da Moeda de Lisboa) would have been able to strike them. It is presumable that they would not have had exactly the same legend as the ones we know, but neither should they bear a reference to a workshop outside the country, which would not enhance their prestige. Those known today, in a sober, entirely Portuguese style, are impressive due to their size and weight, having been struck in almost pure gold. The one presented in this sale is in a very good state of preservation for a coin that has been around the world. And the truth is that even for collectors it gives prestige to a collection.