Bolivia 1630-P T 8 reales
This specimen was lot 476 in Sedwick Treasure Auction 26 (Winter Park, FL, November 2019), where it sold for $833. The catalog description noted, "Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1630T, cross-fleury ornaments flanking denomination, PCGS XF40. Choice bold details all over with lovely rich toning, bold full 30 of date, full dot-P-T-dot and denomination x-8-x (the x's actually small crosses-fleury), a lovely specimen to be sure." This type, the archetypal "piece of eight" of pirate lore, was struck 1622-48, throughout the first part of the reign of Philip IV. Dates were added in 1617; even so, many are so crudely made that the dates are not legible. It is the most common Latin America silver coin of the seventeenth century and the only one that can be collected by date. At some point, local officials began illegally debasing these coins, down to .700 fine in some cases. When this was discovered in 1648, a major scandal erupted and one mintmaster paid with his life. All the suspect silver was recalled for melting and reissue in the new design of 1652 (KM 21), with the result that cobs dated 1636-48 are today very rare.
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: 27.07 g, .931 fine silver.
Catalog reference: S-P26; KM-19a; CT-472, Cayón-6266.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
- Cayón, Adolfo, Clemente Cayón and Juan Cayón, Las Monedas Españolas, del Tremis al Euro: del 411 a Nuestros Dias, vol. 1, 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.
- Sedwick, Daniel Frank, Augi Garcia and Cori Sedwick Downing, Treasure Auction 26, Winter Park, FL: Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC, 2019.