Bolivia 1853-Paz J 2 soles

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Heritage sale 440, lot 50258
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen is a two soles (nominally equal to two Mexican reales but lightweight and debased) minted at the La Paz mint in 1853. The similar issues from the Potosi mint are much more common. The obverse bust is of Simon Bolivar, liberator of South America and the namesake of Bolivia. It was lot 50258 in Heritage sale 440 (Long Beach, June 2007), where it sold for $2415. The catalog description[1] noted, "Republic Barehead 2 Soles 1853-J La Paz, choice AU, crudely produced but an exceptionally handsome example of this extremely rare type with perfectly centered details and bold design features. The Krause-Mishler plate coin and easily one of the finest known." The SCWC[2] states, "Five known, three are damaged."

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.

Catalog reference: KM 122.

Source:

  • [2]Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • [1]Tucker, Warren, and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 440: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2007.

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