D. Carlos I, 500 Réis, IV Centenário dos Descobrimentos India, 1898.

Started by Luis Cozeto, August 02, 2023, 03:52:55 PM

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A very nicely preserved coin, Luis. Maybe the first with a royal couple in Portuguese history. Carlos was a noted philanderer. Amélie was as calm and controlled as could be and constructed a working marriage in spite of her husband's faults. When a group of republicans murdered the king and crown prince, she tried to protect her youngest son. He had an arm wound only. She remained unharmed.

The coin evokes a similar bitter-sweet emotion. The great voyages to India are a high point in Portuguese history, well worth a commemorative. Yet, Carlos presided over the affair of the pink map, perhaps a low point in Portuguese history, maybe not even for the outcome, but for the betrayal of a close alliance that had existed since Napoleonic times, when Portuguese and British soldiers fought the French invaders together.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.