Bolivia 1830-PTS JL 2 soles
This specimen is a two soles (nominally equal to two Mexican reales but lightweight and debased) minted at Potosi and dated 1830. The obverse bust is of Simon Bolivar, liberator of South America and the namesake of Bolivia. The second specimen was lot 1179 in Classical Numismatic Group's sale of the Lissner Collection (Chicago, August 2014), where it sold for $108.90. The catalog description noted, "BOLIVIA, Republic. 1825-present. AR 2 Soles. Potosí mint. Juan Palomo y Sierra and Luis de Aquilar, assayers. Dated 1830 PTS JL. In NGC encapsulation graded AU 55. Brilliant coin, just a bit softly struck, probably closer to UNC than AU because of strike. Very unusual type, an error in the spelling of the word Constitution. Unpriced in KM. First this cataloger has ever seen. Purchased from Arnoldo Efron, June 1972."
The Potosi mint produced standard weight two reales (6.77 g, .896 fine) of the colonial type until 1825. After independence, the weight was lowered to 6.2 grams (KM 95, struck 1827-29). In the 1830's and 1840's, Bolivia issued an enormous quantity of two soles debased to .667 fine, all dated 1830 (KM 95a). These coins flooded South America and were denounced by Bolivia's neighbors, to no avail. Later types struck at Potosi and La Paz are also to this standard (KM 121 thru 129, struck 1853-59). The last two soles, struck 1860-63, was 4.5 g, .903 fine silver (KM 135.2).
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: 6.2 g, .667 fine silver, .132 troy oz ASW; the second specimen is Ø26 mm, 6.95 g, 6h axis.
Catalog reference: KM 95a; C 53.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
- Teller, M. Louis, and Victor England, Jr., The Richard Lissner Collection, Lancaster, PA: Classical Numismatic Group, 2014.