Bolivia (1651-52) 7-1/2 reales KM-C19.1
This specimen was lot 32519 in Heritage sale 3049 (Long Beach, September 2016), where it sold for $329. The catalog description noted, "Philip IV Countermarked Cob 7-1/2 Reales ND (1649-1651)-PE Fine, Potosi mint, Crowned "L" Counterstamp upon earlier 8 Reales 1651-1667. Countermark is quite strong, as is the assayer initials." The 1649-52 was a period of reform at the Potosi mint; it was found that the previous mintmasters in office 1625-48 had been debasing the cobs, a crime for which one official paid with his life. Cobs found to be .750 fine or below were ordered to be melted and cobs better than that, but not full fineness, were counterstamped to lower their value to match their metal content. This counterstamping was done at various mints but no one has been able to match the countermarks to the mints.
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: 27.07 g, .859 fine silver, .747 troy oz ASW.
Catalog reference: KM-C19.1.
- Cristiano Bierrenbach, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World Coin Auction 3049, featuring the Ohio Valley Collection, the Redwood Collection and the F.P. Briand Collection, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2016.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.