Peru 1885-Areq AC 1/5 sol
"Arequipa, Peru, 1/5 sol, 1885AC, extremely rare, NGC AU 55, finest known, ex-Whittier (stated on label), KM Plate Coin. A one-year, one-denomination provisional issue, with only about eight examples reported, this specimen being the finest known for the type, with rainbow (obverse) and steel-gray (reverse) toning over original luster, prominent die-polish lines, very slightly off-center strike on an oversized flan, the inner details all quite sharp (effectively as struck, in our opinion, considering that the dies were engraved with rudimentary tools) and the lettering in the legend delightfully crude as befits a branch mint issue (in fact amazingly well done under the conditions there). The name GAMBOA vertically to left on the base of Liberty stands for Enrique A. Gamboa, a prominent local businessman who proposed the coinage of silver in Arequipa, per documents issued February 6, 1885, establishing a working proposal to mint coins (approved the same year), his name appearing on the coin much like Derteano's was on 1864 Lima coins, a practice that was allowed but criticized. The two or three examples offered for sale in the last 30-40 years were no better than VF and/or with problems (the only other NGC entry being VG and with none listed at PCGS), making this piece far and away the finest known. While anyone can own a generic Peruvian 1/5 sol, only the serious Peruvian specialist or Latin American trophy collector with the acumen and wherewithal to win this piece will have the best of the rarest. Pedigreed to the Whittier collection, and the Plate Coin in Krause-Mishler's Standard Catalog of World Coins (various editions)."The regular Lima issue, which is common, was struck 1863-75. Later quinto soles used a slightly different effigy of Liberty.
Recorded mintage: unknown but eight known.
Specification: 5 g, .900 fine silver, this specimen 4.82 g.
Catalog reference: KM-191a.
- Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
- Sedwick, Daniel Frank, Augi Garcia and Cori Sedwick Downing, Treasure Auction 26, Winter Park, FL: Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC, 2019.