Portuguese Empire, Brazil, Maria I, Queen of Portugal 1777-1816 AD, Gold Half Johanna of 6400 Reis (14.20g, 32mm), 1801 R, Rio de Janeiro mint. Obverse: Veiled and draped bust of Queen Maria I facing to the right, date and mintmark below, legend surrounds, “MARIA· I· D·G· PORT· ET· ALG· REGINA·”. Reverse: Crowned Shield of Arms of Portugal ornate mantle. KM-226.1. Some smoothing in the obverse field and minor hairlines, otherwise with bold detail and attractive gold colour, Extremely Fine.
The Portuguese 6,400 Reis (or Half ‘Johanna’) was one of the denominations chosen during the Australian Proclamation of 1800 by Philip Gidley King, the Governor of New South Wales. It was given a high face value in order to disincentivize the removal of circulating currency from within the Australian colonies, being revalued at Two Pounds. This coin, although a type struck by Portugal and her colonial empire, is still considered a piece of Australia’s early colonial history as a proclamation piece.
The Obverse Latin legend reads “Marīa prīmus, Deī Grātiā, Portucale et Algarve rēgīna”, with an English translation of “Maria the first, by the Grace of God, Queen of Portugal and Algarve”.