Featured Coins of the Newly Independent Latin American Republics - Chile's Volcano Coinage.

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Eduard, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    Chile's Volcano coins are, in my opinion that countries' most appealing and iconic coinage since it became an independent republic in 1817. The obverse shows an erupting Volcano (probably Mount Aconcagua) with 'Santiago' on the reverse, and 'Chile Independente' surrounding. On the obverse, a column with a globe atop, as symbols of liberty.

    Start of production was early in 1817 following the defeat of the spanish royalist troops by the chilean patriots on the plains of Chacabuco (February 12th 1817) just north of the capital Santiago. The Volcano coinage was struck in one Peso denomination from 1817 until 1834. It was also struck in 2 and 1 Real denomination in 1834, and as a half real in 1832-1834.
    3 types are known for the pesos of 1817: those with assayers initials F.J, those without any assayers initials, and finally coins with assayers initials F.D.

    The 1 peso coinage is generally scarce, with the possible exception of coins dated 1817 with assayers initial F.J. This issue probably accounts for 70% (in my estimation) of all existing pesos this type. It is the type most often encountered by quite a margin.

    Next in availability in todays market are probably examples bearing the dates 1822 and 1833. All other dates are very scarce to rare. For example, the 1817 pesos without the assayers initials and with 'Y' directly above the column (approx. 8-10 examples estimated to exist). Also, 1817 with assayers F.D (approx. 10-15 extant in my opinion). The dates 1821, 1823, 1824 and 1825 are all very scarce. 1830 is rare - I have only ever seen once example of the 1830 peso offered for sale in over 25 years.

    Coins minted in 1834 are interesting: these are available bearing a Spanish Philippines countermark, but are virtually unknown without the countermark. I believe I have only ever seen one without the countermark.
    Many examples of various dates where also overstruck for use in Brazil, with the under types visible to varying degrees.

    These coins have become very popular with collectors, specially in the last few years. I am fortunate to have a few examples in my collection obtained during the 80's and 90's.

    Besides Chile, all other nascent Latin American Republics likewise minted very appealing and interesting coinage upon achieving their independence from Spain.
    Some issues that I am familiar with are Peru's 'Peru Libre' 8 Reales, Argentina's 'Provincias del Rio de la Plata' 8 Reales, and the beautiful coinage of the Central American Republics.

    Please post your early Republican Central or South American issues from the first years of these new Republics.

    Here are my examples of Chile's Volcano coins from the year 1817:

    Chile Volcano Peso 1817 FJ OBV - 1.jpg Chile Volcano Peso 1817 FJ REV - 1.jpg Chile Volcano Peso 1817 Y ABOVE column  Obverse - 1-ccfopt.jpg Chile Volcano Peso 1817 Y ABOVE column  Reverse - 1-ccfopt.jpg Chile Volcano Peso 1817 FD.jpg
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  3. Numismat

    Numismat World coin enthusiast

    Very nice article and attractive coins. I have yet to add one of this design to my collection, but most definitely on my list :)
    Eduard likes this.
  4. jgenn

    jgenn World Crown Collector

    Here's my 1837 8 reales of the short lived Republic of South Peru (1836-1839) that comprised part of modern day Peru and Bolivia. This is the first year of issue and was minted in Cuzco. This sunface is thought to be an Inca design, perhaps representing the sun god Inti. The complex reverse design depicts a cornucopia of gold from the Peruvian coat of arms, a crowned tower that some sources cite as the Inca fortress of Saksaywaman overlooking the city of Cuzco, a volcano (perhaps El Misti, one of Peru's most active), and a ship in the ocean. Coincidentally, Charles Darwin noted volcanic activity in the area when he arrived in Lima on the second voyage of the HMS Beagle in July of 1835.

    There are three types of Republic of South Peru 8 reales minted in 1837. The rare type has raised edge lettering and the FEDERACION legend. Mine is the one with incuse edge lettering and the FEDERACION legend. The third type has the CONFEDERACION legend, which would also appear on all subsequent years.

    talerman, TIF, TheFinn and 16 others like this.
  5. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    I'd love to find a peso at a reasonable price. I was lucky enough to find this real this year. These types are so rare that you can’t really wait for better examples, you have to buy one when you find one available.

    Chris B, talerman, TIF and 12 others like this.
  6. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    I would be 'blown up' to own one of these beautiful examples!

    Thanks for sharing!
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  7. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Cool! My coin is not rare or high-grade, but here is my contribution, a 2 reales from the Republic of Peru, 1832:
    Peru 2 reales 1832.jpg
  8. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    That is a pretty 2 reales, Lima mint, Parthicus:). I really like that design with Liberty wearing the Phrygian cap.

    Here is a similar example, but lower grade. It is a 1 Real 1838 minted for the Estate of North Peru.

    Peru Estado Nor Peruano 1 Real 1838 1st example - OBV - 1.jpg Peru Estado Nor Peruano 1 Real 1838 1st example - REV - 1.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  9. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    Nice 1 Real, H8_modern:).
    You are absolutely correct, these coins are really not easy to find, partly due to very low mintages (16000 only for the 1 Real 1834), partly also because of the extreme lack of divisionary coinage in Chile in the early 1800's. Most examples today are quite worn.

    In my experience, the 2 Reales 1834 and the 1 Real 1834 are about equivalent in scarcity today, with the 1/2 Real (what I call the baby volcano) perhaps a little harder to find.
    Regarding your search for the 1 Peso, as mentioned, the 1817 FJ is a nice one to obtain and should not be too difficult to find one. This particular coin is in fact Chile's first Republican coin as it was minted before the other two varieties for the year.

    Here are group shots of the 1 Peso, 2, 1 and half real for a size comparison:

    Chile Volcano 4-Coin Series - OBV - 1.jpg Chile Volcano 4-Coin Series - REV - 1.jpg
  10. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    Thank you for posting your beautiful example of the 1837 Republica Sud Peruana 8 Reales, jgenn. I have to say, I have seldom seen a better preserved one.

    As you mention the Republic of South Peru was a short-lived political entity.
    The country was in extreme turmoil during those years with Republics in both the north and the south.

    This particular issue you show us is, in my opinion, the most beautiful Peruvian coin design with its iconic symbols. I was not aware that the fortress depicted could be that of Saksaywaman (that is probably the Quechua spelling?), but the hypothesis sounds reasonable.
    (my only example of this coin is unfortunately low grade, which I bought in Cuzco when we visited there in the late 80's during a trip to Peru).

    The following are examples of independent Peru's first 8-Reales, dated 1822. Independence from Spain came to Peru late - it was in fact Spain's last major bastion in Latin America.

    The 1822 8 reales 'Peru Libre' type turned out to be provisional as the Royalist forces re-captured parts of the country in 1824 and occupied the port city of Lima and its fortress of 'Real Felipe' before they were finally dislodged after a long siege in 1826.
    In order to serve the needs for currency during the siege, the Spanish commander Rodil ordered Peru Libre pesos to be counter-marked with the symbol of the Spanish crown.

    Peru Libre 8 Reales 1822 - OBV - 1.jpg Peru Libre 8 Reales 1822 - REV - 1.jpg

    Peru Libre Provisional 8-reales with royalist countermark:

    Peru Libre 8 Reales 1822 with counterstamp - OBV - 1.jpg Peru Libre 8 Reales 1822 with counterstamp - REV - 1.jpg
  11. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Very cool clash.
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  12. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    Not a coin but an interesting medal that fits the topic.

  13. Numismat

    Numismat World coin enthusiast

    Indeed, that is a very gorgeous example from an already gorgeously designed series. I have an 1838 example of the same, which I picked up from our very own @Mainebill a while back. Not as high grade of course, but few people are lucky enough to own one that sharp :)

  14. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    Thank you for posting your that medal, H8_modern. Very interesting and historical. It would be interesting to know if it is a contemporary issue, or a later commemorative strike. I think it is actually contemporary and struck in 1821 on occasion of the declaration of independence of Peru. (Later commemorative strikes all actually bear later dates).

    Numismat, that is a great example of the Republica Sud Peruana 8 Reales:).
    I would really like to add a similar example to my collection.

    Here are two more issues from the early years of the Chilean Republic: a 2 escudos from 1834, and a 1 escudo of the hand-on-book type from 1838 (one year type).
    I specially like the motifs of the 2 escudos with pillar and volcanoes, somewhat similar to the 1817-1834 Volcano peso. This type was also struck in 8, 4 and 1 escudo denomination.

    2 Escudos 1834:
    Chile Santiago 1834 2 escudos - OBV - 1.jpg Chile Santiago 1834 2 escudos - REV - 1.jpg

    1 Escudo 1838:
    Chile Santiago 1838 1 escudo hand book - OBV - 1.jpg Chile Santiago 1838 1 escudo hand book - REV - 1.jpg
  15. jgenn

    jgenn World Crown Collector

    Let's look at some coins from another newly independent Latin American Republic, the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata. This nation was formed from the Spanish Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata that included parts of modern day Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia. The earliest silver issues are from 1813 after the royalist forces retreated from part of Alto Perú leaving the mint at Potosí under the control of the revolutionaries. Another issue followed in 1815 when the revolutionary forces once again controlled the mint. Ultimately, Alto Perú gained independence in 1825 taking the name Bolivia in honor of Simón Bolívar.

    The Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata established their own mint at La Rioja that issued coins from 1824 to 1837. The successor state, the Argentine Confederation, would continue to issue coins from La Rioja as well as Cordoba.

    Here is an 1813 8 reales of the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata. The sunface design on this coin is known as the Sol de Mayo from the story that the sun shone forth from the clouds at the declaration of the new, independent government in May of 1810. The design is similar to the heraldic device called the 'sun in splendor', notable for having alternating straight and wavy rays.

    The example, below, is an 8 reales from La Rioja.

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  16. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    You have an amazing collection, jgenn:).
    Thank you very much for posting those beautiful examples of the United Provinces coinage, and for the background history to them.

    I have been after one of the 1813 or 1815 8-reales for a long time. Thus far have only managed this 1 Real piece.

    1 Real Rio de la Plata 1813.jpg
  17. Lynch Abreem

    Lynch Abreem New Member

    Wow , i like this design ...

    it's minimalist and simple
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  18. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Those are awesome, indeed iconic, and I like the toning on all the OP examples.

    Really, all of the coins posted so far have been appealing.

    All I've had in the volcanic department was this little Guatemalan.

    Can't remember who I sold it to, now. @Stork- was it you?

    At the time I owned it (and maybe still), this one was tied for second-finest in the PCGS population, with two MS66 examples and one MS67 being out there. I saw pictures of the other MS66. This one had nicer toning. It was relatively inexpensive, too- already slabbed - so I nabbed it.

    Sorta wish I'd kept it now, but at the time, I was sticking to a strict limit of coins (when my "Eclectic Box" was a "box of 20"), so I let it go when other, more expensive coins came in.

    Now that I've abandoned the 20-coin limit, I might have to add more affordable-but-awesome coins like this.

    I'll bet the Chilean stuff posted here is a lot more expensive, huh?


  19. Saltyfrost

    Saltyfrost New Member

    I love coin design...

    It very artistic , simple bit elegant..
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  20. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter**

    Cute little Volcano from Guatemala! Nice one LordM:)

    Yes, (unfortunately) prices have risen in the last few years for early chilean republican coinage. The series is very popular with collectors.

    Here is a tiny little Volcano 1/2 real from Chile: smaller than a seated dime.

    santiago volcano 1-2 Real OBV - 1.jpg santiago volcano 1-2 Real REV - 1.jpg


    Great coins everyone I love the Peruvian coinage; going to have to try to get some of the Volcanoes now.
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