For the first time in an exhibition the unique silver coin of King Afonso V will be showcased.
A unique coin
The silver leal of King Afonso V struck in Oporto is a one-of-a-kind piece of Portuguese numismatics. At present, only one specimen is known to exist, from a national collection. This coin remained unknown to the main studies and catalogues of Portuguese numismatics. It is shown here to the public for the first time.
The history of the leais
The silver leal was a coin minted in Portugal in the reigns of King Duarte and King Afonso V. It was probably created in 1434-35, during a period of monetary stabilisation in the kingdom, following five decades of strong currency debasements. According to the royal charter of 30.11.1436, its initial value corresponded to 10 reais brancos. In view of the kingdom's difficulties in obtaining silver, the king exempted all imported silver destined to the Lisbon Mint House from customs tithe until 1439.
The hoarding and flight of leais abroad led Infante D. Pedro, regent in the name of King Afonso V, to order the raise of its legal value to 12 reais brancos in 1441. The leal was probably the only good silver coin (91,6% pure silver) minted in Portugal between the end of 1385 and c. 1463.
In Oporto, in 1441, one leal bought one bushel of wheat or two mudd of wine; in 1449, 15 to 17 leais would buy one thousand sardines in the same city.
The Leal of Oporto of King Afonso V
From November 27 2019 until February 23 2020
Guided tour by curator João Vieira, Saturday, December 7 and January 18, at 3:00 pm (60 min.)
Advance booking required
Only in Portuguese
For adults and young people 14+
Other guided tours require advance booking
For more informations contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +351 213 213 240
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