Bolivia (1651-52) 7-1/2 reales KM-C19.11

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from Sedwick Treasure Auction 21, lot 436

This specimen was lot 436 in Sedwick Treasure Auction 21 (Winter Park, FL, May 2017), where it sold for $940. The catalog description[1] noted, "Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1649Z, crowned-T countermark on cross (rare). Broad flan with choice full date, full countermark at very edge, bold mintmark and most of assayer, full shield and cross, corrosion-free but partially flat and with uneven toning. Pedigreed to the Rob McClung collection. Recovered from: Capitana, sunk in 1654 off Chanduy, Ecuador." 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, this specimen 26.70 grams.

Catalog reference: S-P34; KM-C19.11; CT-508.

Source:

  • [1]Sedwick, Daniel F., Augi Garcia and Cori Sedwick Downing, Treasure Auction #21, featuring Selections from the Richard Stuart Collection, Winter Park, FL: Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, 2017.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.

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