Paraguay 1889 peso

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Goldberg sale 46, lot 1149
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg
from the Mountain Groan Collection
Paraguay 1889 peso rev DSLR.jpg
The first specimen was lot 1149 in Goldberg sale 46 (Beverly Hills, May 2008), where it sold for $3,200. The catalog description[1] noted,

"Paraguay. Peso, 1889. Star with rays within wreath of laurel and palm. Reverse: Seated lion, head facing, with pole topped by liberty cap behind. Totally original, well struck example, thus very scarce. With fine cartwheel luster, very clean fields, and appealing apricot gold to russet toning amid slightly bluish fields. NGC graded MS-64.

"Paraguay is one of only two landlocked countries in South America (the other is Bolivia). It has been technically a republic since 1811, but in actuality it has been a haven for ruthless dictators and displaced unpopular exiles from around the world. The name Paraguay derives from the native Guarani language and means great river. The river is the Parana which produces more hydroelectric power than any place in the world, and is home to Iguassu Falls. These falls, which actually meet at the conjunction of Argentina and Brazil are one of the major wonders of the world."

The coinage of Paraguay during the nineteenth century is very scanty. A dozen KM numbers or so suffices to cover all of it. This peso, struck to the metric standard, is the only silver type struck for circulation during that period. Fortunately for collectors, it does not seem to have circulated extensively and most survivors are Extremely Fine or better in condition. It is not common but it appears in auctions fairly regularly.

Recorded mintage: 600,000 but many melted.

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, .723 try oz ASW; this specimen: 24.92 grams.

Catalog reference: Eliz-1; KM 5.


  • [1]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.

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