South Peru 1838-Cuz MS 8 escudos

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Goldberg sale 46, lot 1188
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg
Heritage sale 3030, lot 24874
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

The first specimen was lot 1188 in Goldberg sale 46 (Beverly Hills, May 2008), where it sold for $8,000. The catalog description[1] noted, "Peru - South Peru. 8 Escudos, 1838 -MS (Cuzco). State Coinage. Radiant sun face supported on crossed flags, row of stars above. Reverse: Scene of crowned fortress, volcano, and ship at sea, and cornucopia below, all within wreath. Choice strike on excellent flan. Lustrous and very clean for large gold. Overall, superb quality for this issue. NGC graded MS-63." The second specimen was lot 24784 in Heritage sale 3030 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $15,275. The catalog description[2] noted, "South Peru - Republic gold 8 Escudos 1838 Cuzco-MS, MS62 NGC, a sparkling example of this classic Latin gold rarity with full mint brilliance and well-struck features. The reverse displays a few vague laminations, typical for this series and not distracting. The sunface design was used on several early Republic types and is particularly appealing on this large gold coin. From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation."

This South American doubloon is one of the classic designs of the series. It is scarce compared to regular Lima mint issues but not excessively rare. Unfortunately for collectors, it is expensive. The South Peru issues are the result of a short-lived confederation of Peru and Bolivia 1836-39. Silver half reales, two reales, four reales and eight reales are also known for South Peru, all much more affordable.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 27.07 g, .875 fine gold, this specimen: 26.96 grams.

Catalog reference: Fr-92; KM 171.


  • [1]Goldberg, Ira, and Larry Goldberg, Goldberg Sale 46: the Millenia Collection, Beverly Hills, CA: Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, 2008.
  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [2]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3030, featuring the RLM Collection, the Isaac Rudman Collection, the Hans Cook Collection and the Collection of Donald E. Bently, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.

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