Guatemala 1877-F 20 pesos

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Eliasberg lot 3059
Guatemala 1877 20 pesos rev Eliasberg 3059.jpg
This specimen was lot 3059 in the Eliasberg sale, where it sold for $29,900. The catalog description[1] noted,
"1877 F 20 pesos. MS-62 (NGC). Types as above. Lustrous deep yellow gold, lightly cleaned and showing some hairlines, a few tiny rim cuts near 4:00 on reverse and light nicks elsewhere, light scratches well-hidden in the reverse design. An extremely rare issue, a key among late 19th century Guatemalan gold coins, as are any of this elusive denomination. Though both dates are priced in KM at the same levels, this date appears to be the more elusive one. The superb Norweb collection included only one 20 pesos of this type, a piece dated 1878 and described as 'lightly scuffed, though not unattractive, about extremely fine and extremely rare.' That piece sold for $6,160 in 1985, 20 years ago. This piece, in superior condition and with a superior Newcomer-Clapp-Eliasberg provenance, is worthy of inclusion in the finest cabinet of Guatemalan coinage. From J.C. Morgenthau and Co. (Wayte Raymond)'s sale of the Waldo C. Newcomer collection, February 1935, Lot 348 (plated, 'Extremely fine and of the greatest rarity,' $420); John H. Clapp Collection; Clapp estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., 1942. Plated in Wayte Raymond's The Gold Coins of Central America, 1936, and in the serial edition in Coin Collector's Journal, Vol. 3 #1, April 1936, p. 13."

The only other gold twenty pesos piece struck in Guatemala was the Carrera bust design of 1869. A similar liberty head design appears on silver pesos of 1882-89 and gold five pesos of 1872-78.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 32.26 g, .900 fine gold, .933 troy oz AGW; this specimen: 32.12 grams, 33.50 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: KM 199, Fr-44.


  • [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.
  • 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.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.

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