Numismatic museum in Peru

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by acanthite, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. acanthite

    acanthite ALIIS DIVES

    I had the fortune to end up with a free day today in Lima. Went to the Casa de Monedas (mint) to look at their relatively new Museo Numismatico de Peru. It is not housed in the mint itself, but in an adjoining building which served as the chief assayer's office (and home) in colonial times. The building has been damaged or destroyed several times by earthquakes, but has been restored. Peru has minted coins since the mid 1500's, many of them in this building complex (other mints include Cuzco, Pasco, and Potosi, the latter being was part of Peru in colonial times). I did not know what to expect, but was impressed by the clean and professional displays. The historical accounts were separated into epochs defined by changes in coin design. It filled two medium-sized rooms and I took the better part of three hours just reading the wall displays. Entrance to the museum is free. All displays are in Spanish. Below are some photos:

    Museum entrance. Note the screw press in the atrium behind.

    One of the many display cases, with description of the particular epoch on the wall. This display is of the initiation of the currency called the 'sol' in 1863, which is still the name of Peruvian currency today (not quite, now its 'new sol').

    Detail of one of the more modern presses on display.

    Die punch of portrait 8 reales, bust portion (Ferdinand VII). The 8 reales coin to the right is of the same monarch but uses a different bust punch, the 'fantasy bust' type. It is called that because at the time no one in Peru knew what the new monarch looked like yet, so created what they thought was a good likeness. At the Mexico City mint they had their own 'fantasy' rendition.

    Some wave and pillar cobs (8 reales). Some of these look good enough to have been presentation pieces (minus the holes).

    An interesting photo from the display on the diversity of mint tasks, probably taken in the early 1900's.

    Old drawing of a large screw press, similar to the ones used in Lima starting in 1752 to modernize the minting process. The mint worker at label C gets the highest salary (or at least he should).

    Hyperinflation, Peruvian style. In the late 1980's, inflation went in to the percent millions, thus the 'new sol' coin in the photo equals the pile of paper inti notes on the right (in 1985 the inti replaced the 'old' sol, which suffered a similar fate).[​IMG]

    Come to papa!
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  3. Dollar1948

    Dollar1948 New Member

    This is very, very interesting stuff..Thanks for posting. It looks like they have done a good job building the collections and exhibits at this facility.
  4. TheNoost

    TheNoost huldufolk

    Thanks for posting, almost like being there.
  5. KurtS

    KurtS Die variety collector

    Great pics! That portrait punch is fascinating! :D
  6. snaz

    snaz Registry fever

    Awesome! Thank you for sharing with us!
    Awesome pictures.
  7. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

    Great Thread!!!

    Your pics and write up are very informative and it looks like that is a great place.

  8. Eduard

    Eduard Supporter** Supporter

    Acanthite, Thank you very much for this excellent description of the exhibits at la Casa de Moneda Y Museo Numismatico del Peru.
    I remember visiting the museum as a child....My mother was friends with a Senor de Aliaga who was one of the founders of the museum, and he took as around. It is probably much more expanded today.

    Amazing that picture of the cuno (Punch) for the coinage of Fernando VII. The Santiago, Chile mint, just like Mexico and Lima also had their own "Imaginary" rendition of what the monarch looked like.

    Did you see any any exhibits relating to the coinage emitted during the War of Independence? or during the War the Pacific? That must be very interesting. Also, any of the adulterated coinage associated with Dionisio Derteano, mint Director (1864) who more or less minted coins for his own use and bearing his own initials, courtesy of the peruvian state.

    Thanks again for this excellent post!



    PS- if you are still in Lima, you may want to seek out the street vendors selling coins off a side street in the center of town. If you are into Peruvian food (the best in Latin America) you may want to try the following: La Rana Verde, Manos Morenas, El Catamaran, Costa Verde (pricey). You won't regret it!
    Biurs92 and Hispanicus like this.
  9. Daggarjon

    Daggarjon Supporter**

    great pics! its awsome to visit such places! And thanks for the pics! - especially when i doubt i will ever get to this one myself lol
  10. KurtS

    KurtS Die variety collector

    If I'm ever in Peru, I'll check out the museum and the coin shops (if I can find them). However, wouldn't it be a little risky for a tourist to buy coins of any value? I've heard that copies of colonials are sold in Peru as well. :confused:
  11. merlin1066

    merlin1066 Senior Member

    WOW! What a GREAT post! Thanks, that was really interesting, Excellent photos too!
  12. breakintheweb

    breakintheweb Senior Member

    Man, i just got back from peru. I wish i would have visited this. excellent post.
  13. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

    Bet you didn't see that at Machu Picu

    Rushmore likes this.
  14. breakintheweb

    breakintheweb Senior Member


  15. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

  16. acanthite

    acanthite ALIIS DIVES

    Thanks everyone for your comments and nominations. As noted by Eduard there are places in Lima to buy coins in the market, though for colonial coinage there are many fakes. There are also pickpockets.

    There was a good writeup for provisional coinage during the war, and the phases immediately following independence. I did not see anything relating to coinage by Sr. Derteano. And there was a good display of coinage during the economic upheavals of the War of the Pacific, which brought about the denomination called 'Inca'. It has a great obverse bust.

    No, during the time of the 9th Inca ruler (Pachacutec), barter was the method of exchange. Gold and silver were not viewed as having monetary value.

    I did take some more pictures of die punches. These two are of the columns on the reverse of the portrait type colonial 8 reales. The second picture is an example of the coin type it was used for.
  17. mrbrklyn

    mrbrklyn New Member

    This museum was worth the whole trip. Its one of the most impressive displays I've seen.

  18. weryon

    weryon Self proclaimed messiah

    Love the pillar dies
  19. KurtS

    KurtS Die variety collector

    Agreed--when I get to Peru, the museum will be item #1, then Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Those pillar stamps are incredible! :yawn:

  20. De Orc

    De Orc Well-Known Member

    Great pics and a wonderful write up to go with it :high5:
  21. jello

    jello Not Expert★NormL®

    Great post!!!
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