Bolivia 1652-P E 8 reales royal

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Goldberg sale 46, lot 935
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg
This specimen was lot 935 in Goldberg sale 46 (Beverly Hills, May 2008), where it sold for $31,000. The catalog description noted[1],
"Bolivia. 'Royal' 8 Reales, 1652-P-E (Potosi). Philip IV, 1621-1665. Crowned Cross of Jerusalem, quartering arms of Castille and Leon, all in quadrilobe. Reverse: Crowned pillars over waves. Some trivial edge porosity on reverse. Boldly struck up, with three dates visible. Flan almost round. Handsomely toned, with considerable eye appeal. Probably as struck. Extremely Rare. NGC graded MS-63. The 'Royals' were struck on specially selected, round planchets with special dies - the dies not necessarily having the same designs and inscriptions as those coins of the same date and mintmark in the regular coinage. Some of the better specimens may have well been sent to Spain so that the king could see for himself what fine handiwork was being done at the various mints."

Royals are known of this type from the Potosi mint for 1652-66 but all are rare. The regular cob issues are not nearly as nice. The 1649-52 was a period of reform at the Potosi mint; it was found that the previous mintmasters in office 1625-48 had been debasing the cobs, a crime for which one official paid with his life.

Recorded mintage: unknown but few.

Specification: 27.07 g, .931 fine silver, .810 troy oz ASW; this specimen: 25.38 grams.

Catalog reference: Cayón-6455, WR-5; KM R21.


  • Cayón, Adolfo, Clemente Cayón and Juan Cayón, Las Monedas Españolas, del Tremis al Euro: del 411 a Nuestros Dias, 2 volumes, Madrid: Cayón-Jano S.L., 2005.
  • Calicó, Xavier, Numismática Española: Catálogo General con Precios de Todas las Monedas Españolas Acuñadas desde Los Reyes Católicos Hasta Juan Carlos I, 1474 a 2001, Barcelona: Aureo & Calicó, 2008.
  • [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, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • Menzel, Sewall, Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins, New York: The American Numismatic Society, 2004.

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