1823 Peru provisionals

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by H8_modern, Oct 19, 2021.

  1. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    Didn’t know anything about these but loved the design. Trusted dealer and really nice condition for 200 year old copper so I jumped right in. Looked up the info after the fact and borrowed the following info off NGC Collector’s society but first my new purchases - 1/4 and 1/8 peso. There’s a smaller version, 1/16?, that also has the same design.




    The NGC info:

    History: The 1823 1/8 Peso is one of the very first coins of Independent Peru. Small coin was scarce at this time, with much of the current coins and precious medals surreptitiously being traded at the countries ports and shipped overseas. The coins of Chile were briefly approved for circulation in Peru. A motion for striking new debased coins fell through; instead copper 1/4 and 1/8 Pesos were issued to meet the need of small coin (a copper 1/4 Real, the first coin of free Peru was minted the year before). Part of the purpose of these coins was the amortization of the brief issuing of paper money in 1822 (this paper money is now very rare). The government tried to enforce the use of the new copper coins by threat of monetary punishment for those who didn't accept them. In the end, they were too easily counterfeited and this brief experiment was given up.

    The 1/8 Peso is the size of a Real, but much thicker. The obverse design on the 1/8 Peso is quite glorious, featuring a resting vicuna with the Andes mountains in the background, a radiant sun, and a pole with cap.

    Why do some of the 1/8 Pesos have a "V" near the date? This was a mark used to account for which coins had the copper supplied by one Cayetano de Vidaurre. Vidaurre had been contracting with the Lima mint to provide copper for coinage since 1810.

    The 1/8 Peso is usually available in circulated grades. Severe pitting and planchet issues are the norm. Finding a pleasing example takes effort. In mint state they are somewhat scarce. The "V" coins are more difficult, but usually available in circulated grades; they are quite scarce in mint state. Krause gives a value of $45 in XF for the regular type. That's about right. They don't offer further pricing in better grades. In low-end mint state expect to pay $100-$250 depending on the quality of the planchet. Krause values the "V" at 145 in XF. This is too high at that grade level. However, the top graded MS 62 sold for $646.25 at Stack's in November 2013; a strong price.

    Flatt and Krause report that the 1/4 and 1/8 Peso were re-struck during festivities celebrating 100 years of Independence in 1921. This may be so. However, none of the coins I've seen on the market look much like restrikes. Most mint state coins are lower-end, with pitting and no mint red. Could these really be restrikes? I doubt it. Yet, Flatt states that most mint state coins are re-strikes. The jury is out.

    The PCGS graders have messed up the varieties. I have tried to adjust to the best of my ability below. Please read carefully.

    Population for regular type:

    One in XF 45 at NGC, one in AU 50 at NGC, one in 53 at NGC, five in 55 at NGC, one at PCGS, one in 58 at NGC, two in MS 62 at NGC, three in MS 63 at NGC, one at PCGS Red-Brown. Sixteen total, six in mint state. All are brown except the one as noted.

    Population for with "V":

    One in XF 40 at PCGS, one in AU 50 at NGC, one in AU 55 at NGC, one in AU 58 at NGC, one in 61 PCGS, one each in 62 at NGC and PCGS. Seven total, three in mint state. All are brown.

    PCGS has labeled all their coins in the pop report as "V". This is incorrect. I have been able to suss out which are which, and have adjusted them above, save for their MS 60. So there is also one MS 60 Brown, unknown variety, not included above.

    Francisco Yabar Acuna's book "Monedas Fiduciarias Del Peru" has considerable information on these early copper coins.

    Set Specimen:

    Dark chocolate with cartwheel luster. Unusually well struck and centered for the type with minimal pitting reserved to a small patch on the reverse. Tied with one, four better in MS 63 for non-"V" type. The set gets one copper coin!
    longshot, Chris B, alurid and 6 others like this.
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  3. Evan Saltis

    Evan Saltis Student/Collector Supporter

    South American coins, especially Peru have been hot. Very interesting, I've wanted one but not likely.
  4. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I like it. Added to my list of future acquisitions.
  5. Gallienus

    Gallienus coinsandhistory.com

  6. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    That is a much better planchet. Very nice.
    Gallienus likes this.
  7. Gallienus

    Gallienus coinsandhistory.com

    It used to be that Peruvian Republican coins were considered a dog on the market. One reason given was that Peru is relatively last in the alphabet, and at auctions, one had to stay awake until past midnight to bid on them. As I'm a night-owl anyway, this was less of a problem to me.

    You can see from my website (above) that I've quite a few of them: in many denominations.

    I recall at the 1999 and 2000 NYICS, which I attended in person, Peruvian Athena Standing 8 Reales (~1826 ~ 1857) were selling for <$100 in mint state. I bought a few but didn't buy more as I thought there was something wrong with them. Actually, they are a bit common, compared to other types such as the Chilean Volcano Pesos in MS, but are still nice coins for the money.

    Also thanks for the historical writeup behind the 1/8th real. Would you mind if I used parts of it {with credit} for my website? Another favorite era of mine illustrated extensively by Peruvian & Bolivian coinage is the period of Moneda Feble or Weak Money {debased silver currency}.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  8. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    I borrowed the write up myself. I gave the credit to NGC Collector Society.
  9. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Well, I feel silly. I mentioned wanting one of these. Turns out I already have one.

    The Eidolon likes this.
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