Bolivia (1577-85)-P B 4 reales
This specimen was lot 572 in Sedwick Treasure Auction 27 (Winter Park, FL, May 2020), where it sold for $446.25. The catalog description noted, "Potosi, Bolivia, cob 4 reales, Philip II, assayer B (early 5th period?). Choice full shield, full but slightly doubled cross (distinctive style, like 8R lots 549-550 in this same auction), bold assayer B and denomination o-iiii, XF with a few dark streaks." The mountains around Potosi contained enormous amounts of high grade silver ore, a situation the Spanish were not slow to exploit. A mint was set up in the 1570's to process the silver mined there. The early products of the reign of Philip II are fairly good quality but rot set in during the following reign, includling fraudulent debasement. The Potosi mint was the first mint in the western hemisphere to date its products. Dating began in 1617.
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: 13.54 grams, 0.931 fine silver, this specimen 13.62 grams.
Catalog reference: Cayón-3764, S-P14; KM-4.2 for type.
- Krause, Chester L., and Colin R. Bruce II, Standard Catalog of World Coins: Spain, Portugal and the New World, Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.
- Cayón, Adolfo, Clemente Cayón and Juan Cayón, Las Monedas Españolas, del Tremis al Euro: del 411 a Nuestros Dias, 2 volumes, Madrid: Cayón-Jano S.L., 2005.
- Calicó, Xavier, Numismática Española: Catálogo General con Precios de Todas las Monedas Españolas Acuñadas desde Los Reyes Católicos Hasta Juan Carlos I, 1474 a 2001, Barcelona: Aureo & Calicó, 2008.
- Menzel, Sewall, Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins, New York: The American Numismatic Society, 2004.
- Sedwick, Daniel Frank, Augi Garcia and Cori Sedwick Downing, Treasure Auction 27, Winter Park, FL: Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC, 2020.