Colombia 1622-S F 2 escudos

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from the Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale, lot 11004
Colombia SB118-11004r.jpg
This specimen was lot 11004 in Stack's Bowers NYINC sale (New York, January 2018), where it sold for $66,000. The catalog description[1] noted,
"The Famous 1622 Cartagena 2 Escudos Discovery Coin. First Known Specimen of the First Gold Coin of the New World. COLOMBIA.1622-E 2 Escudos. Cartagena mint. Phillip III (1598-1621), posthumous issue. AU-58 (PCGS). This is the most famous of the eight known examples of this most historic gold cob issue, the very first to have been struck in the New World. This piece has served as the plate coin in more references than all the other known specimens combined. The surfaces are frosty yellow gold with no encrustation or major flaws. The centering is better than all the other known examples. The obverse shows a bold and complete shield, well struck S / F mintmark, the lower portion of all letters of PHILLIPPVS III, and the II denomination. A mark on the denomination and a similar nick on the shield corner next to S are the only minor flaws. The reverse is also remarkably bold and well centered, with 162 complete and the lower half of the 2 readily apparent despite an old abrasion there. The legend HISPANARIVM REX is absolutely complete, and the central cross is as bold as could be hoped for.

There is no doubt that this is the best and most widely recognized of the survivors of this issue. Herman Blanton ranked this #1 on his census, published in Numismatics International in 2014 and on his website since. The Ortiz-Norweb specimen has a more complete date, which resulted in it bringing $32,000 at its last offering in 1997. All eight known examples came from the wrecks of the Santa Margarita and the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, which both sailed with the 1622 treasure fleet and sank off the coast of Florida. One of the eight recorded specimens is permanently off the market: the Lasser coin, which was donated to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 2010. With only seven examples in private hands, and the historic importance of being the very first gold coin struck in the New World, the 1622 2 Escudos of Cartagena is a classic and widely desired rarity. Every onza, every double eagle, literally every gold coin struck in this hemisphere can trace its lineage back to this humble beginning. This specimen is ranked as number 1 in the Herman Blanton census and is generally considered the best centered and most desirable specimen. It is among the highlights of this cabinet. From the Eldorado Collection of Colombian and Ecuadorian Coins. Acquired from Kurt Spanier at the 1982 American Numismatic Association convention in Boston, August 1982."

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 6.77 g, .917 fine gold, .198 troy oz AGW, this specimen 6.77 grams.

Catalog reference: Restrepo M10.1, KM 4.3 (plate coin), Fr-2.

Sources:

  • Cayón, Adolfo, Clemente Cayón and Juan Cayón, Las Monedas Españolas, del Tremis al Euro: del 411 a Nuestros Dias, 2 volumes, Madrid: Cayón-Jano S.L., 2005.
  • Calicó, Xavier, Numismática Española: Catálogo General con Precios de Todas las Monedas Españolas Acuñadas desde Los Reyes Católicos Hasta Juan Carlos I, 1474 a 2001, Barcelona: Aureo & Calicó, 2008.
  • Restrepo, Jorge Emilio, Monedas de Colombia, 1619-2006, Medellin, Colombia, Impresiones Rojo: 2006.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio, John Kraljevich and Cris Chatigny, The January 2018 NYINC Sale: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, featuring the Eldorado Collection of Colombian and Ecuadorian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2017.
  • Krause, Chester L., and Colin R. Bruce II, Standard Catalog of World Coins: Spain, Portugal and the New World, Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002.

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