Colombia 1844-P UM 2 reales
This specimen was lot 44144 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Philadelphia, August 2018), where it sold for $432. The catalog description noted, "COLOMBIA. 2 Reales, 1844-UM. Popayan Mint. AU-50 (PCGS). Bold strike for type with attractive light gray toning. A solid, problem free example. From the Eldorado Collection of Colombian Coins." The type was struck in Bogotá 1839-46 and Popayán (shown here) 1840-49. Unlike Mexico, which converted directly from 8 reales = 1 peso to 100 centavos = 1 peso in the 1860's, Colombia took a roundabout route to decimalization. In colonial Colombia, two reales coins were 6.77 g, .896 fine, just like the rest of Spanish America. The chaos of the struggle for independence and the shortage of bullion affected the two reales as it did the other denominations. Cundinamarca issues (1815-16, KM C4) were 4.9 g, .583 fine; the "Libertad Americana" issue (1819-20, KM 76 and 77) were 5.9 g, .666 fine. The first two reales of the independent Nueva Granada (1839-46, KM 97, shown here) were 5.5 g, .666 fine. A modified design was issued 1849-53 (KM 109) and then the coin was redesignated a two décimos, struck 1854-58 (KM 117). In 1866, the fineness was lowered to .835 and struck at that standard 1866-74 (KM 149, 155, 159, 160) and a twenty centavos struck 1874-86 (KM 176, KM 178).
Recorded mintage: unknown but a common date. The 1844/3 overdate is quite scarce.
Specification: 5.5 g, .666 fine silver, .117 troy oz ASW.
Catalog reference: KM-97.2; Restrepo-188.13.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
- Restrepo, Jorge Emilio, Monedas de Colombia, 1619-2006, Medellin, Colombia: Impresiones Rojo, 2006.
- Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio and Chris Chatigny, The August 2018 Philadelphia ANA Auction: World Coins and Selections from the El Dorado Collection of Colombian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2018.