Haiti 1887 gourde
This specimen was lot 1070 in Goldberg sale 46 (Beverly Hills, May 2008), where it sold for $14,500. The catalog description noted, "Haiti. Silver Proof Gourde, 1887. Veiled female head right. Reverse: Palm surmounted by Cap of Liberty, arms around. Deeply toned with lovely iridescent toning. Rare. NGC graded Proof 65.
"Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola, discovered by Columbus in December of 1492. The island became the base from which Spain conducted its exploration of the New World. Over time the western part of the island became settled by French buccaneers, eventually creating the situation in which Spain was forced to cede that portion to France. Under French rule, slaves were imported to work the sugar and coffee, and soon the colony became one of the richest of France's New World possessions. At the end of the 18th century, the French revolution also brought revolution to the island, culminating in 1804 in true independence. However, its subsequent years were marred by recurring coups, violence, and border clashes. Still, sugar and coffee provided an economy of some affluence. Its French-derived coinage was reorganized at the beginning of the 1880's, presumably for enhancing France's commercial ties in the region to be more in line with that current in France. Thus the silver Gourde, the only dollar-sized circulating coin to come out of the country up to that time, is a precise match in weight and fineness to France's 5 Franc."
This type was struck 1881-82, 1887 and 1895 and is not rare in circulated condition tho is a better type. All issues seem to have been struck at the Paris mint.
Recorded mintage: 200,000 (including proofs).
Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, .7234 troy oz ASW, 37 mm diameter, reeded edge.
Catalog reference: Eliz-3; KM 46.
- Byrne, Ray, Coins and Tokens of the Caribees, Decatur, IL: Jess Peters, Inc., 1975.
- Goldberg, Ira, and Larry Goldberg, Goldberg Sale 46: the Millenia Collection, Beverly Hills, CA: Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, 2008.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
- Elizondo, Carlos A., Eight Reales and Pesos of the New World, San Antonio, TX: 1968.