Sao Paulo Revolt
Getulio Vargas seized control of Brazil in 1930 and implemented a centralization policy that transferred power from the states to the national government. In 1932 a revolt centered in Sao Paulo tried to force the national government to become more democratic, but the effort was not -supported by the other states or the Catholic Church. Within two years the revolt was quelled, and by the late 1930s Vargas had become a largely unrestrained dictator.
During the siege of Sao Paulo the Brazilian Numismatic Society suggested that coins and bars be stamped and sold to raise funds for the revolt (Gibbs 1944, Prober 1966: 154-155). In this way the Companha do Ouro da Revolucao or Gold Campaign collected donations for the revolt. One hundred silver bars and twelve gold bars were cast from donated coins that were melted for the purpose. Howard Gibbs (1944: 15), the famous collector of odd and curious monies, reported the bar that he had examined was 90 x 19 x 11 mm in size, and it had a silver fineness of fifty percent. Its low fineness resulted from the fact that mostly lower standard silver coins were melted to make the bars.
A bar’s fineness and weight are stamped on its sides. Its top has two square marks, or what would be called counter-marks if they appeared on a coin. The three line inscription reads FUNDIDO PELO DEPART. DE OURO / SANTA CASA DE MISERICORDIA /DES. PAULO (Department of Gold, Municipal Pawn Shop of Sao Paulo). It is flanked by two identical stamps, which consist of a helmeted head and C/O/ 1932.
The bars came with a certificate that indicates in Portuguese, “Department of Gold, Municipal Pawnshop of San Paulo. Serial number . We certify Senhor has bought a silver bar of which 100 have been cast from coins donated to the Gold
Campaign and has the following characteristics: Number . Fineness . Weight .
San Paulo de de 1934. Issued by the Committee and printed on antique paper.”
The blank spaces were filled in when a bar was purchased.