Chile 1809-So FJ 8 reales

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Aureo sale 238, lot 494
Aureo sale 238, lot 495
Goldberg sale 46, lot 994
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg
The first specimen was lot 494 in Aureo & Calicó sale 238 (Barcelona, November 2011), where it sold for 951 euro (about US$1,508 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"1809. Santiago. FJ. 8 reales. Busto almirante sin laurel y casaca sin botones. Buen ejemplar. Rara. MBC+. (eight reales of 1809, Santiago mint, uniformed bust without laurel wreath or buttons. Nice example, rare, choice very fine.)"
The second specimen was lot 495 in Aureo & Calicó sale 238 (Barcelona, November 2011), where it sold for 1,400 euro (about US$2,220 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"1809. Santiago. FJ. 8 reales. Busto almirante sin laurel y casaca con botones. Bella. Parte de brillo original. Rara y más así. EBC-. (eight reales of 1809, Santiago mint, uniformed bust without laurel wreath but with buttons. Nice, lustrous, rare, about extremely fine.)"
The third specimen was lot 994 in Goldberg sale 46 (Beverly Hills, May 2008), where it sold for $6,500. The catalog description[2] noted,
"Chile. 8 Reales, 1809 So-F.J (Santiago). Ferdinand VII, 1808-1833. Large uniformed imaginary bust of Ferdinand right, wearing Order of Golden Fleece. Reverse: Crowned Bourbon arms, flanked by bannered pillars. Boldly struck, with vitually complete details. Lustrous to velvety devices on reflective fields, under medium gray or, on the reverse, iridescent toning. Some very faint handling marks to portrait, otherwise a superb example. One of the finest known. NGC graded MS-63. This type, known as the imaginary bust, was produced in both gold and silver, but only at the Santiago mint. A very important type coin. Interestingly enough, the silver coin is far rarer than its gold counterpart."
The abdication of Charles IV and the imprisonment of Ferdinand VII by Napoleon left mint officials in Spanish America scrambling for solutions. Like their colleagues in Mexico City and Lima, mint officials in Santiago used an imaginary bust of Ferdinand on their issues of 1808-11. The assayer FJ appears for 1803-17. We show two varieties, with and without buttons on the king's uniform.

Recorded mintage: 123,000 for 1808-09, nearly all 1809.

Specification: 27.07 grams, .896 fine silver, .780 troy oz ASW; the third specimen: 27.04 grams.

Catalog reference: Cal. 624, KM 68.

Sources:

  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • [1]Sisó, Teresa, Eduardo Domingo and Lluís Lalana, Subasta Colleción Leunda, Barcelona: Aureo & Calicó Subastas Numismáticas, 2011.
  • [2]Goldberg, Ira, and Larry Goldberg, Goldberg Sale 46: the Millenia Collection, Beverly Hills, CA: Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, 2008.
  • Elizondo, Carlos A., Eight Reales and Pesos of the New World, San Antonio, TX: 1968.
  • Raymond, Wayte, The Silver Dollars of North and South America, 2nd Ed., Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing, 1964.

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