Guatemala (1894) peso c/s on 1854 Chile peso

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photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 25088 in Heritage sale 3015 (Long Beach, September 2011), where it sold for $977.50. The catalog description[1] noted, "Republic 1894 1/2 Real Counterstamp on Chile 1854 Peso, toned AVF host coin with a couple of rim bumps, VF counterstamp. Very rare on this host with only a few examples reported, and no current sales records that we can find." The SCWC notes of this type, "By 1894, foreign coins had become so prevalent that on August 10, the government authorized their counter-stamping at the mint, with official ½ real dies of 1894, to legitimize their circulation." To this author, there are problems with this interpretation; the counterstamped coins are almost exclusively Chilean pesos or Peruvian soles and the surviving specimens are generally in good condition, suggesting that they were new or nearly new when they were counterstamped. Previous counterstamping operations in Guatemala had been of heavily worn coins. It is this author's surmise that the mint purchased the coins from Chile and Peru with the intention of counterstamping them and that the other, rare varieties, such as the one shown here, were mixed in by accident.

Recorded mintage: unknown but rare.

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, .723 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: KM 215.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • [1]Cristiano Bierrenbach and Warren Tucker, Heritage World Coin Auction 3015, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2011.

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