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). Come to papa!