A Gallery of Spanish America (New World)  Coins & Medals
Colonial, Revolutionary, Post-revolutionary, &c.

Republic of Guatemala
(República de Guatemala)

Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal
    New Spain (Viceroyalty of New Spain), 1535-1821
    Captaincy General of Guatemala created, 1609
    Captaincy General of Guatemala proclaimed independence from Spain...
       ...and its incorporation into the new Mexican Empire, 1821
    Part of Federal Republic of Central America...
       ...also known as the United Provinces of Central America, 1823-1838
    Republic of Guatemala, 1839


During the colonial period, Guatemala was an Audiencia and a Captaincy General (Capitanía General de Guatemala) of Spain, and a part of New Spain (Viceroyalty of New Spain, or, Virreinato de Nueva España).
On September 15, 1821, the Captaincy General of Guatemala (formed by Chiapas, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras) officially proclaimed its independence from Spain and its incorporation into the short-lived (first) Mexican Empire (Imperio Mexicano ). All but Chiapas soon separated from Mexico after Agustín I (Agustín de Iturbide) from Mexico was forced to abdicate.
The Guatemalan provinces then formed the United Provinces of Central America, also called the Central American Federation (Federacion de Estados Centroamericanos).
The United Provinces of Central America , aka Federal Republic of Central America, was a republican democracy and sovereign state in Central America, which consisted of the territories of the former Captaincy General of Guatemala. That federation dissolved in civil war from 1838 to 1840 It existed from July 1823 to 1840.

(8 Reales = 1 Peso = 1 Quetzal)
New Spain (colonial period): Real
United Provinces of Central America: Real
Republic of Guatemala: Peso
Currently: Quetzal

On 26 November, 1924, the Quetzal (GTQ) was authorized as the new monetary unit and was introduced in 1925. The quetzal is still the currency of Guatemala and is named after the national bird of Guatemala, the Resplendent Quetzal and is divided into 100 cents (centavos).

The mint opened in 1733 at Santiago de los Caballeros, Guatemala's third capital. The 1773 Guatemala earthquake (Santa Marta earthquake) caused abandonment of the city. The capital and the mint moved to La Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción (now Guatemala City, locally known as Guatemala or Guate).

Mintmarks: G, G-G, NG (Nueva Guatemala), H (Heaton's Mint, Birmingham, England). Even though the Republic of Guatemala was formed 1839, Guatemala continued to strike coins in the United Provinces of Central America style until 1851.

Obverse & Reverse
Republica del Centro de America. 1840 Guatemala (República de Guatemala) 8 Reales, KM-4. This silver coin is toned which is a plus to collectors.


Republic of Guatemala, 1 Quetzal, 1925, Silver, KM-242. First year of issue.

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