Ecuador 1845-MV 8 escudos

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Eliasberg lot 1733
Ecuador 1845 8 escudos rev Eliasberg 1733.jpg
This specimen was lot 1733 in the Eliasberg sale, where it sold for $74,750. The catalog description[1] noted,

"1845 MV 8 escudos. Quito mint. AU-53 (NGC). Head of Bolivar to left, legends around, date below, BOLIVAR on truncation/arms with flags, condor atop, legends around, mint and assayer's mark below. Variety with flagpoles visible below arms. Bright yellow gold with some retained lustre in the protected areas, scattered handling marks, nice rims and good eye appeal. A sharp and attractive specimen of this great rarity, the first collectible portrait 8 escudos of Bolivar from Ecuador. An important keystone in an advanced collection of onzas from the Age of Independence. This date is called 'rarisima' (extremely rare) in Calico.

"Harry F. Williams, whose collection was sold to Waldo Newcomer, reported how he purchased his specimen of the 1845 8 escudos in a ca. 1918 manuscript prepared for Newcomer: 'The greatest rarity of the Ecuadorian gold coinage was struck in 1845 only. It is an 8 escudos showing a bust of Bolivar, the reverse having the National Arms of the first design, which never afterwards appeared on gold coins of Ecuador so far as I can learn. After failing to secure the Salbach specimen [Jacques Schulman sale, 1911], extreme efforts on my part to obtain an example resulted in my Bogotá correspondent securing one in that city.' He further noted that the Salbach specimen and his specimen were the only two ever brought to his notice. Presumably it was his example that was included in the 1935 Newcomer sale, i.e., the example here offered. From J.C. Morgenthau and Co. (Wayte Raymond)'s sale of the Waldo C. Newcomer collection, February 1935, Lot 314 (plated, 'fine and very rare,' $205); John H. Clapp Collection; Clapp estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., 1942. Plated in Wayte Raymond's Gold Coins of South America, 1936, and in serial form in Coin Collector's Journal, Vol. 3, #9, December 1936, p. 190. Apparently acquired by Harry F. Williams from Bogotá sometime between 1911 and 1918."

This type was struck 1845 only and like all predecimal Ecuadorian gold coins, remains beyond the reach of ordinary collectors.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: .875 fine gold; this specimen: 26.80 grams, 36.40 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: KM 30, Fr-7. Calico Onza-1764.


  • [1]Kraljevich, John, John Pack, Elizabeth O. Piper and Frank Van Valen, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., Collection of World Gold Coins and Medals, Wolfboro, NH: American Numismatic Rarities, 2005.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.

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