Bolivia 1865 1/4 melgarejo

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CNG Lissner sale, lot 1220

This specimen was lot 1220 in Classical Numismatic Group's sale of the Lissner Collection (Chicago, August 2014), where it sold for $302.50. The catalog description[1] noted, "BOLIVIA, Republic. 1825-present. AR 1/4 Melgarejo. Potosí mint. Dated 1865. In NGC encapsulation graded MS 62. Lovely strike and finest for type that we have seen. Lovely lightly toned uncirculated. Purchased from Spink & Sons, April 1980. Mariano Melgarejo was arguably the worst leader to ever rule Bolivia. Although brielfy president of the Republic, the former army general assumed the office through a coup in 1864, and ruled as a tyrant. Dictators come and go, but few ruled with such brutality. Melgarejo was eventually overthrown by another army general in January 1871, and was later assassinated while living in exile in Lima, Peru. A number of proclamation and medallic style coinages were struck for the dictator in 1865." 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 half 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 two soles of 1859-63, the quarter melgarejo's lower fineness made it worth about 1½ soles.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 5 g, .666 fine silver, this specimen Ø23 mm, 4.80 g, 12h axis.

Catalog reference: KM 144; Y 21.


  • 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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