Bolivia 1865 1/2 melgarejo

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CNG Lissner sale, lot 1221

This specimen was lot 1221 in Classical Numismatic Group's sale of the Lissner Collection (Chicago, August 2014), where it sold for $363. The catalog description[1] noted, "BOLIVIA, Republic. 1825-present. AR 1/2 Melgarejo. Potosí mint. Dated 1865. In NGC encapsulation graded MS 62. Original light tone over lustrous surfaces. Very nice strike. Highest graded specimen of this one year only type and the only uncirculated grade given. Purchased from Louis Collins, March 1979." This one year type was issued in 1865 in honor of the dictator Mariano Melgarejo (1820-71, president of Bolivia 1864-71), along with a quarter melgarejo and one melgarejo. Melgarejo obtained his office by murdering his predecessor, Manuel Belzu, and was himself overthrown in a coup and later assassinated, which event occasioned little grief among Bolivians. Nominally equal to an four soles of 1859-63, the half melgarejo's lower fineness made it worth about three soles. The "long beards" variety (KM 145.1) is priced about half the variety shown here.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 10 g, .666 fine silver, this specimen Ø30 mm, 10.20 g, 12h axis.

Catalog reference: KM 145.2 "short beards"; Y 22.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • [1]Teller, M. Louis, and Victor England, Jr., The Richard Lissner Collection, Lancaster, PA: Classical Numismatic Group, 2014.

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