Bolivia 1730-P M 8 reales

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photo courtesy Cayon Subastas

The Spanish colony of Upper Peru produced hammered cob coinage at the Potosi mint from 1573 to 1773, with a major debasement scandal and subsequent reform occurring in 1649-1652. The period 1767-1770 saw simultaneous issue of milled columnarios. The royal or presentation issues are very rare and highly sought after, while the regular strikes vary in price according to the visibility of the date, mint, and assayer initials.

The specimen shown was lot 624 at Cayon Subastas auction held February 4, 2012, where it sold for 220 euros (about $342 including buyer’s fees). The catalog description[1] noted "Potosí. 8 reales. 1730. M. Tres fechas, la de la ley. solo visibles los tres primeros dígitos y la de la cruz los dos del medio. MBC+. Buen ejemplar. (Potosi 8 reales, 1730-M. Three dates visible, the date in the legend shows only the first three digits and that of the cross in the middle. Very fine+. Good example.)"

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 27.07g, 0.917 silver, 0.798 oz ASW; this specimen 26.8 g.

Catalog reference: KM-31a; Cayón-9330, Plt337.


  • 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.
  • [1]Cayon Subastas, Auction February 2012: Highly Important Collection of Spanish and Latin American 8 Reales and other Coins from the Spanish Empire, Madrid: Cayon Subastas, 2012.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.

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