Bolivia 1853 1/4 sol

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Heritage sale 410, lot 16116
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen is a quarter sol (nominally equal to a Mexican quarter real but lightweight and debased) minted at Potosi in 1853. It was lot 16116 in Heritage sale 410 (Long Beach, June 2006) where it sold for $776.25. The SCWC notes that unholed specimens are very rare, in contrast to the very common issue of 1852.

The Potosi mint produced standard weight two reales (6.77 g, .896 fine) of the colonial type until 1825. After independence, the weight was lowered to 6.2 grams (KM 95, struck 1827-29). In the 1830's and 1840's, Bolivia issued an enormous quantity of two soles debased to .667 fine, all dated 1830 (KM 95a). These coins flooded South America and were denounced by Bolivia's neighbors, to no avail. Later types struck at Potosi and La Paz are also to this standard (KM 121 thru 129, struck 1853-59). The last two soles, struck 1860-63, was 4.5 g, .903 fine silver (KM 135.2).

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 0.85 g, .667 fine silver, .018 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: KM 117.


  • [2]Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • [1]Tucker, Warren, and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 410: the Whittier Collection, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2006.

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