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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I tell if my columnario is fake or real?
This is an important question. Many fake columnarios abound in the coin market and some of the current-generation counterfeits are extremely well-crafted. We now offer an authentication service for columnarios. Contact Us to ask us for more information about this service and how it works.

What is a columnario?
For a detailed explanation including some key features, click here.

Who runs this website?
This website is a personal endeavor of Carl Clegg, a collector and professional numismatist.

Are you a dealer?
I am a professional numismatist. I do buy, sell, and trade as most in the profession do.

If I could only have one resource on columnarios, what would it be?
After this website (when it's complete), your single best resource for columnarios is Frank F. Gilboy's The Milled Columnarios of Central and South America. (see resources)

I have a columnario -- how much is it worth?
Depends on year, mint mark, condition, etc. It could be worth $100 or $135 or $10,000 or more. Most columnarios in fine condition shape are worth at least $100. Chop marks, sea salvage, or excessive wear can reduce the value. Rarity and higher grades can increase the value. Contact Us with more information on your coin and we'd be happy to give you an opinion.

Are four reales columnarios worth half what eight reales are worth?
Actually, most four reales dates are typically rarer than their eight reales counterparts and command more in the numismatic marketplace. Values are tied closer to rarity than denomination.

I have Chinese characters stamped on my columnario -- what's this all about and how does it impact value?
These are called chopmarks and indicate that the coin was at one point used for trade with China most likely during the nineteenth century. While chopmarks are very interesting and some collectors focus on them, they generally are considered damage and lower the value of the coin. Below is an example of a chopped 1768 MF Mexico columnario. To learn more about chopmarks go to and look under "Columnarios" section.

Have a question about columnarios? Contact Us.


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