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Nueva Guatemala

The Guatemala Mint was initially located in Santiago de Guatemala, which today is the city of Antigua. In July 1773, the Mint was destroyed along with the rest of the city in a massive earthquake. The Mint’s machinery and silver were brought to a safe site in La Hermita, and plans were drawn up to establish the New mint there. Those plans were rejected by Charles III, who instead deigned that a new mint would be established in the territory’s new capital, modern day Guatemala City. In 1777, the new Mint began striking coins just as it had at the old one, with just one exception: the Mint mark was changed from “G” (Guatemala) to “NG” (Nueva Guatemala).

Coins from Nueva Guatemala Mint offer a fascinating look into a brief yet important period in the history of Central America. They would make a fine addition to the collection of anyone who is interested in the history of the region.

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One of the most significant issues in the relatively short history of the Mint was in 1793. The Mint began issuing quarter Real and eighth real coins. These coins were particularly important because they helped to bring an end to cacao beans as a medium of exchange.

The Mint continued striking Silver coins until 1817. With the original Guatemala Mint, it averaged roughly 170,000 pesos per year throughout is issuance of silver coins, which began in 1733. Guatemala gained independence from Spain in 1821 as part of the First Mexican Empire. The Mint ceased operations the following year, and Guatemala declared its independence from the First Mexican Empire in 1823.