184, Gibraltar (British Colony), Queen Victoria. Copper ½, Quarto Coin. XF!
Mint Year: 1842 Reference: KM-1. Issuer: James Spittle’s Denomination: ½ Quarto Condition: Minor deposits, otherwise a nice XF! Material: Copper Diameter: 18mm Weight: 2.64gm
Obverse: Bust of Queen Victoria left. Date (1842) below. Legend: VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D: 1842
Reverse: Castle with three turrets. Key and value (HALF) and denomination (QUART) below. Legend: GIBRALTAR
The real was the official currency of Gibraltar until 1825 and continued to circulate alongside other Spanish and British currencies until 1898.
After the Anglo-Dutch occupied Gibraltar in 1704, the Spanish real continued to circulate in the town. However, no distinction was made between the silver (de plata) and billon (de vellón) reales issued by the Spanish (1 real de plata = 2 reales de vellón before 1737, 2½ after), providing a substantial profit for the army officers making payments to troops.
In 1741, the following rates of exchange were established: 2 blancas = 1 maravedi, 4 maravedíes = 1 quarto or quart, 16 quartos = 1 real de vellón, 8 reales de vellón = 1 peso sencillo (“current” dollar), 10 reales de vellón = 1 peso fuerte (“hard” dollar, also known as the Spanish dollar). These roughly doubled the value of the real de vellón relative to its value in Spain. Much of the currency in circulation was in the form of copper coins, since the low value of silver coins relative to billon lead to most silver being exported from Gibraltar to Spain. Copper merchants' tokens denominated in quarts were issued between 1802 and 1820.
In 1825, the relative values of the various circulating coins were revised and pegged to the British pound. The real de plata was subdivided into 24 quarts, valuing the real de plata at 96 maravedíes compared to 85 in Spain. The Spanish dollar was valued at 4 shillings and 4 pence and British silver coins were imported. However, because this rating of the dollar was too high, British silver coins could not circulate, although British coppers did, with an informal valuation of 1 quart = 1 farthing (actually 1 quart = 11⁄12 farthings). This discrepancy was also exploited to the profit of army officers making payments to troops.
In 1842, coins were issued in ½, 1 and 2 quarts denominations. A total of 387,072 quarts worth of coins were issued (equal to 2016 dollars or £436 16s), allowing soldiers wages to be paid in quarts rather than pence. Other coins continued to circulate, however, until 1872. In that year, the Spanish currency became the sole legal tender in Gibraltar. In 1898, the Spanish–American War made the Spanish peseta drop alarmingly and the pound was introduced as the sole currency of the colony, initially in the form of British coins and banknotes.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. It has an area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) and a northern border with the Province of Cádiz in Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the only landmark of the region. At its foot is the densely-populated city area, home to almost 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities.
An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg pretender to the Spanish throne. The territory was subsequently ceded to Britain “in perpetuity” under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. It was an important base for the Royal Navy; today its economy is based largely on tourism, online gaming, financial services, and shipping.