Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis

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Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis coins were struck during the reign of King Pedro II and became heavily utilized in commerce throughout Brazil. These coins boast more than half an ounce of gold in each of them and were struck at a variety of mints around the country. Despite this, there were rarely more than 50,000 of them minted in any single year. Their history and relative scarcity have helped them to become a favorite staple of investors in world gold coins.

Photo Courtesy of APMEX

Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis Background and History

King Pedro II was born Dom Pedro II on December 2, 1825 in the city of Rio De Janeiro. When his father abdicated the throne in 1831, he became the king of South America's largest nation at the age of only six years old. Ten years later, he reached what was considered to be manhood and was formally crowned as the emperor of Brazil. In his 49 long year reign that followed his ascension to the throne, Pedro II provided Brazil with nearly half a century of prosperity, peace, and technological progress that lasted all the way through his death in 1889.

Under his rule, the first paved roads were constructed, postage stamps became a fixture of life, Brazil saw its first steam engines afloat, and the telephone began operating in the country. In fact the king is thought to have been the very first Brazilian to talk on telephones. Besides this, he outlawed slavery, built colleges, universities, and schools around Brazil, and took on illiteracy and poverty throughout the land. He ruled and died justifiably beloved by the Brazilian populace.

Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis coins were another great contribution to the country made by this Queen Victoria styled enlightened monarch. His mints struck these coins from 1851 to the final year of his reign in 1889. These are among the larger world gold coins from that era. With over a half an ounce of gold content, they weigh a bit more than their counterparts the American $10 Liberty gold coins. While under 50,000 coins were struck most minting years, the lion's share of these have been melted down or lost, making them even scarcer. This helps to explain their rarity which can lead to greater premiums over spot gold when there is heavier than usual demand.

Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis Physical Characteristics

Coin Design

The obverse is the coin world terminology for the front of coins. Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis coins feature an obverse with a left side facing portrait of King Pedro II. The Latin inscription translates to “Peter II by Grace of God and Perpetual Defender of Brazil.” The date is below his bust.

Photo Courtesy of Coins Home

Coin collectors and investors alike know the backside of coins as the reverse. Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis coins' reverse portrays the coat of arms of Imperial Brazil. The latin legend translates to the late Roman Imperial phrase made famous by Emperor Constantine The Great, “In this sign, you will conquer.” There was a minor alteration to the design of the reverse in 1853. This increased the size of the bust of the king slightly.


While there are also 10,000 Reis coins issued by the Brazilian mints, the Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis were struck in only the one size and denomination. The standard specifications of this coin are as follows:

  • Mass: 17.9296 grams
  • Diameter: 30.4 mm
  • Thickness: 1.7 mm
  • Gold Content: 0.5286 troy oz
  • Purity: 91.67% gold fineness

Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis Pricing

Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis coins had a legal tender face value in Imperial Brazil. As Brazil now uses the Real, these are no longer legal tender with spending power today. Despite this fact, the intrinsic value of the gold they contain is worth over $550. This value comes from the spot price of gold. They also pick up substantial premium because of their historic nature and popular collectable appeal.

It is both the gold content value and the collectible premium that together make the market value of the coin. Such market prices give the coin value to the portfolio or collection where they are found. These gold prices go up and down every day of the market week, which includes Sundays for gold markets. Gold prices trade on international precious metals exchange centers found in London, Chicago, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Zurich as well as other cities. These changing prices are continuously updated in real time on our homepage, which makes it easy for you to learn the real time spot price of gold.

Can IRA Accounts Contain Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis?

Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis coins are bullion coins which are no longer legal tender, and this may concern you when you are thinking about buying them for your precious metals IRA account. It is up to the Internal Revenue Service as to whether or not they accept them for your IRA. They primarily consider two factors in these coin evaluations. These come down to the level of gold purity requirement of minimally 99.5% and a low collectors' premium for the coins.

Before you are able to fully open this account, you must “fund” it by having your IRA administrator purchase at least $5,000 worth of IRS sanctioned coins or bars. After this has been done, you are able to issue orders for another purchase to be made at any time in increments of only $1,000. You can transfer over any existing assets your other more traditional IRAs already contain through an IRA rollover. Your old and new IRA administrators will handle most of the arrangements on your behalf if you give the orders.

The verdict on including these interesting and historic pieces in your self directed IRA boils down to problems with the level of gold purity and the collectability factors. The IRS insists on that 99.5% gold purity standard, while these Brazil Gold 20,000 Reis pieces contain only 91.67% of pure gold. They are also ruled out by the IRS for their collectability and additional premiums over spot gold prices. Despite the fact that the IRS will not permit you to inventory these gems in your gold IRA account, they do make fantastic selections for other investment, retirement, and collecting portfolios. It is difficult to find this level of financial privacy in more modern gold bullion pieces, since these coins are fully exempt from broker reporting requirements. You can buy them easily by contacting a reliable bullion or gold dealer that trades in world gold coins.

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