Guatemala 1808-NG M 8 escudos

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Eliasberg lot 3025
Guatemala 1808 8 escudos rev Eliasberg 3025.jpg
This specimen was lot 3025 in the Eliasberg sale, where it sold for $57,500. The catalog description[1] noted,
"1808 M 8 escudos. Nueva Guatemala mint. AU-50 (NGC). Laureated bust of Fernando VII to right, legends around, date below/crowned arms, garter around, legends around garter. Bright yellow gold with deeper highlights at the rims. Lustrous and reflective, soft area at central reverse, some encrustation at FE on obverse, scattered light hairlines. An extremely challenging date, unpriced in the Krause-Mishler reference and noted as having only a few examples known in Calico. The Calico plate is an old pencil rubbing, which suggests how long it has been since a specimen sold at public auction. A highly attractive specimen of a significant rarity, the best date of the brief (three year) Fernando VII onza series in Guatemala. Thomas W. Voetter, whose provenance recurs frequently throughout the Eliasberg collection of Latin American coins, mostly purchased his prized gold rarities while working as a US diplomat in South America (mostly Venezuela and Chile). Most of these coins have sold only once at auction since their discovery. From B. Max Mehl’s sale of the Thomas W. Voetter Collection, January 1943, Lot 157."
As Ferdinand was in a French prison in 1808 and unavailable to have his portrait taken, this coin was almost certainly struck later, perhaps in 1811. There is a similar eight reales.

The SCWC lists three dates for the type, all very rare: 1808, 1811 and 1817.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 27.07 g, .875 fine gold, .761 troy oz AGW. This specimen: 27.00 grams, 36.40 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: Cayón-16355, Fr-22, Calico Onza-1207, KM 71.


  • [1]Kraljevich, John, John Pack, Elizabeth O. Piper and Frank Van Valen, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., Collection of World Gold Coins and Medals, Wolfboro, NH: American Numismatic Rarities, 2005.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 9th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2017.
  • 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.
  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.

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