Bolivia 1740-P P 2 reales

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Steve Album sale 38, lot 1863
Bolivia SA38-1863r.jpg

This specimen was lot 1863 in Stephen Album sale 38 (Santa Rosa, CA, September 2020), where it did not sell. The catalog description[1] noted, "BOLIVIA: Felipe V, 1700-1746, AR 2 reales [1]740-P, assayer P, cob coinage, 2 mintmarks, 2 dates, 3 assayers, crude, but full cross visible, Fine." Two assayers are known for 1740: assayer M (1737-40) and assayer P (1740-42). The type is not rare but is less often seen than the eight reales. The Potosi mint was the most prolific issuer of silver during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, nearly all of it cobs such as this. This type was struck 1729-47 and superseded an earlier type (KM 29) which was .931 fine silver. The other Latin American mints placed the date near the edge where it rarely struck up, whereas Potosi issues have the date smack in the middle, ensuring that the date would be legible even if the rest of the design was smeared. As a result, Bolivian cobs can be collected by date, unlike the other mints (Mexico, Lima, Guatemala). The Potosi mint was the last to abandon the manufacture of cobs, in 1773.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specifications: 6.77 g, 0.917 fine silver; this specimen 6.27 g.

Catalog reference: KM-29a, Cayón-8890.


  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • 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.
  • Menzel, Sewall, Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins, New York: The American Numismatic Society, 2004.
  • [1]Album, Stephen, Joseph Lang, Paul Montz, Michael Barry and Norman Douglas Nicol, Auction 38, featuring the Dabestani Collection of Persian Coins, Santa Rosa, CA: Stephen Album Rare Coins, Inc., 2020.