Peru 1882-Ayacucho LM 5 pesetas

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Goldberg sale 46, lot 1201
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg
This specimen was lot 1201 in Goldberg sale 46 (Beverly Hills, May 2008), where it sold for $2,000. The catalog description[1] noted,

"Peru. Republic. 5 Pesetas, 1882 L.M (Ayacucho). Peseta Coinage. Female head left, her hair wreathed with grains and flowers. Reverse: Shield of arms flanked by wreath, and crowned above by nimbate wreath of oak. Superb strike, with only the faintest of weakness at the centers. Essentially white, with the merest hint of toning. Pristine, and sparkling with superb luster. Scarce. NGC graded MS-64.

"Ayacucho is the capital city of Huamanga province in southern Peru. It was settled by the Spanish conquistador, Pizarro, in 1540. The name Ayacucho derives from the Quechuan two words 'Aya' and 'Kuchu' meaning 'dead corner'. Apparently a major Quechuan battle left so many dead bodies that the name was gruesomely coined."

The specimen shown was struck as an experimental imitation of the contemporary Spanish five pesetas of the same weight and fineness. History does not reveal why this coinage was felt to be necessary as the Lima mint was simultaneously striking the sol, also of the same weight and fineness. One may note that 1882 was in the midst of the War of the Pacific and Lima was occupied by Chilean troops. In any event, the experiment does not seem to have been a success, as no other dates are known from Lima. There are some very rare issues from Ayacucho (shown here) dated 1881-82 and a medio real dated 1882.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, .723 troy oz ASW; this specimen: 25.04 grams.

Catalog reference: Eliz-237; WR 26; KM 201.3.


  • [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.
  • Raymond, Wayte, The Silver Dollars of North and South America, 2nd Ed., Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing, 1964.

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