Numista has this coin with a mintage number of over 8,000,000 pieces, which is quite a large number and comparable to many Morgan dollars minted around the same time. Yet, a circulated piece can go up to $200 dollars! A quick ebay search and a lot of the coins are priced at least over $150.
Would any of you guys know the reason for why this is? Is there particular demand for this coin in Spain, which would explain the price hike? Were many melted?
High attrition rate in my opinion, combined with a large collector following (Puerto Ricans, Spanish, American, Colonial, Crown, world silver collectors). There are some serious experts on these particular issues on this forum though, who I eagerly give the floor over to ;)
- Many were presumably withdrawn from circulation and melted down, once the island became US territory and the coins no longer legal tender. Reduced supply. - As a current US territory and "back of the Red Book" country, like Hawaii and the Philippines, Puerto Rico is much more popular with American collectors than your typical "foreign coin". Thus, high demand.
Reduced supply and increased demand equals higher prices.
As far as I am aware, there isn't very strong interest in Spain itself for collecting coins from the former colonies. I don't know how aware the folks in Puerto Rico itself are to collecting their old coins, but I suspect demand from the mainland USA would outstrip local demand.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis