Colombia 1839-B RS 2 reales

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Heritage sale 410, lot 16635
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries
This specimen was lot 16635 in the Whittier sale (Heritage Auction Galleries, Long Beach, June 2006), where it sold for $1,725. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Nueva Granada 2 Reales 1839-RS Bogotá, MS64 NGC, a remarkably choice and fully original example with full mint luster, light peripheral toning and bold details. Very rare condition and believed to be the finest known of the type."
It is a gem example of a two reales struck in Colombia (then called Nueva Granada) in 1839. The type was struck in Bogotá 1839-46 and Popayán 1840-49.

Unlike Mexico, which converted directly from 8 reales = 1 peso to 100 centavos = 1 peso in the 1860's, Colombia took a roundabout route to decimalization. In colonial Colombia, two reales coins were 6.77 g, .896 fine, just like the rest of Spanish America. The chaos of the struggle for independence and the shortage of bullion affected the two reales as it did the other denominations. Cundinamarca issues (1815-16, KM C4) were 4.9 g, .583 fine; the "Libertad Americana" issue (1819-20, KM 76 and 77) were 5.9 g, .666 fine. The first two reales of the independent Nueva Granada (1839-46, KM 97, shown here) were 5.5 g, .666 fine. A modified design was issued 1849-53 (KM 109) and then the coin was redesignated a two décimos, struck 1854-58 (KM 117). In 1866, the fineness was lowered to .835 and struck at that standard 1866-74 (KM 149, 155, 159, 160) and a twenty centavos struck 1874-86 (KM 176, KM 178).

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 5.5 g, .666 fine silver, .117 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: KM 97.1, Restr-187/1.


  • 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: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2006.
  • Restrepo, Jorge Emilio, Monedas de Colombia, 1619-2006, Medellin, Colombia: Impresiones Rojo, 2006.

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