North Peru 1838-L MM 1/2 escudo

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Peru Nor 1838 half escudo obv Eliasberg 3556.jpg
Peru Nor 1838 half escudo rev Eliasberg 3556.jpg

This specimen was lot 3556 in the Eliasberg sale, where it sold for $1,035. The catalog description[1] noted, "1838 M 1/2 escudo. Lima mint. North Peru. MS-64 (NGC). Llama and tree in quadrants above cornucopia/wreath with date and mint around. Lustrous orange gold, thin hairline scratch on left side of reverse. A choice Mint State example. From the John H. Clapp Collection; Clapp estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., 1942." North Peru was a portion of the short-lived Peruvian Confederation of 1836-39, which broke up under the hostility of its neighbors and local caudillos, neither desirous of a strong, centralized state. The North Peruvian state had control of the Lima mint and managed to issue silver ½, 1, 2 and 8 reales and gold ½, 1, 2, 4 and 8 escudos during its unhappy existence. The silver issues aren't too rare but all the gold coins are expensive. The half escudo shown here is identical to the regular Lima mint half escudo (KM 146.1, issued 1826-56) except for the date.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 1.68 g, .875 fine gold, .047 troy oz AGW; this specimen: 1.69 grams, 14.50 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: Fr-90a, KM 159.


  • [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.
  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.

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