Cobs and Macuquinas from Potosi, Bolivia coins

Silver Cobs of Potosi, 1574-1773

Bolivian silver cobs

Potosi, BoliviaWhen it comes to silver cobs, no mint was more prolific than Potosi, Bolivia, where an entire mountain of silver was discovered in the early 1500s. It took a little while before authorities figured out that a mint was needed on site, where the silver was being mined, even though the extreme remoteness and elevation presented major problems that were never fully resolved. The most egregious problem, perhaps, was an almost lawless environment where silver barons controlled the government and took full advantage by owning and profiting from mint offices and even by debasing the silver itself, causing a major scandal that put the entire world on its financial ear in the mid-1600s. Up to that point Potosi struck shield-type cobs, some of which were then recalled and either melted or countermarked (to attest to proper fineness) in 1652. To rectify the whole system, a new design was begun in that year, starting with some "transitional" issues and culminating in the pillars-and-waves design that became a global mainstay again throughout the rest of the 1600s and most of the 1700s. In 1773 the last cob ever struck came off the press in Potosi, long since superseded by milled coins (begun there in 1767).

__________________________________________

Shield type: 8 reales | 4 reales | 2 reales | 1 reales | 1/2 reales | 1/4 reales

Pillars-and-waves: 8 reales | 4 reales | 2 reales | 1 reales | 1/2 reales

 

 

Potosi, Bolivia

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

Shield type 8 reales

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer not visible (1640s), debased and underweight. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip III, assayer Q. S-P17; KM-10; CT-124. 26.89 grams. Very broad flan with choice full shield and cross, bold full P-Q, full king's name and ordinal PHILIPVS III, XF with light orange sediment in crevices. g111804191020 $595
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer not visible (1640s), debased and underweight. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip III, assayer Q. S-P17; KM-10; CT-124. 23.38 grams. Richly toned AVF with full P-Q (possible Q/C), good full shield and cross, thin flan with probable old shaving on edge. g111804191021 $295
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer P (P-dot-P, mid-1620s). Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer P (P-dot-P, mid-1620s), from the ca. 1629 "Panama hoard." 26.90 grams. VF, doubled yet full shield and almost complete cross, reddish-orange encrustation (indicative of the "Panama hoard" find). g121804671289 $195
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer not visible (1640s), debased and underweight. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, (162)7T, quadrants of cross transposed, rare. S-P24; KM-19a; CT-467. 27.07 grams. Non-toned XF with good full shield and cross (rare to see transposed quadrants this late), tail of 7 of date visible. g051804191092 $395
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer not visible (1640s), debased and underweight. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1640, assayer not visible, rare. KM-19a. 26.90 grams. Full and clear date with particularly bold 0 (rare thus), also one nice lion and nearly full king's name and ordinal but otherwise crude, Fine, toned on fields. g051804191093 $395
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer not visible (1640s), debased and underweight. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer not visible (1640s), debased and underweight. 20.45 grams. Fascinating example of the type of coin that was wrecking the world economy and was eventually recalled (this one somehow overlooked), as it was clearly struck underweight (although part of the edge shows slight shaving, too) and the spaces around the details are loaded with a rusty layer of coppery oxidation and sediment, also typically crude in strike (off-center shield but good full cross), Fine or so. g041818221001 $240
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer not visible (1640s), debased and underweight. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, (1)645, assayer not visible. KM-19a. 27.20 grams. Bold full date (rare thus) outside of full but crude cross, the shield full but very doubled, non-toned AXF with peripheral flatness and small part of edge bent. g111804191022 $395
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer TR (large). Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, Philip IV, assayer TR (large). 26.27 grams. Thick planchet, bold mintmark, assayer, partial shield and some legend, patchy dark toning. g091818101002 $195

      Back to top

Shield type 4 reales

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

      Back to top

Shield type 2 reales

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, Philip III, assayer C, rare. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, Philip III, assayer C, rare. Bold assayer, full but weaker shield and cross, Fine with surface corrosion (salvaged), patchy toning. g061604191049 $140
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, Philip III, assayer C, rare. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, Philip III, assayer C, rare. Corroded from salvage and silvery from cleaning, bold assayer and cross (slightly off-center), Fine or so overall. g061604191050 $135
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, Philip IV, assayer P (1620s). Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, Philip IV, assayer P (1620s). Bold P-dot-P, full but weak shield and cross, Fine+. g051704191047 $110
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, Philip IV, assayer T (ca. 1630). Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, Philip IV, assayer T (ca. 1630). 6.57 grams. Well-detailed with original surfaces and some luster, doubled shield, a few areas of dark toning. g091818101014 $85
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, (164)9O, rare. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, (164)9O, rare. Full P-O and clear 9 of date, most of shield and cross despite flatness, somewhat silvery VF with toning in crevices. g061604284012 $195

      Back to top

Shield type 1 reales

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

      Back to top

1/4 reales (Cuartillos)

      Back to top

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer R (Rincon) to right, mintmark P to left, rare, rainbow toned. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer R (Rincon) to right, mintmark P to left, rare, rainbow toned. g081504146017 $975
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer R (Rincon) to left, mintmark P to right, rare. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer R (Rincon) to left, mintmark P to right, rare. Richly toned AVF with full inner details, nearly full crowns and legends, broad flan, tiny hole near edge. g081504146018 $975
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer R (Rincon) to left, mintmark P to right, rare. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer R (Rincon) to left, mintmark P to right, rare. Broad flan but with small pieces of edge missing, AVF with full castle and R-P. good full lion (tall, standing), richly toned. g081504146019 $595
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer B  (1st period) to left, mintmark P to right, very rare. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer B (1st period) to left, mintmark P to right, very rare. Clear B-P flanking castle, early Seville-style lion and fine-dot borders, salvaged AVF with dark toning and chips in edge. g081504146021 $975
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer B  (5th period) to left, mintmark P to right, border of boxes on obverse, rare.

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer B (5th period) to left, mintmark P to right, border of boxes on obverse, rare. Lightly corroded surfaces (salvaged) but with clear B and lion.

g081504146026 $495
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer B  (5th period) to left, mintmark P to right, border of boxes on obverse, large castle, rare. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/4 real, Philip II, assayer B (5th period) to left, mintmark P to right, border of boxes on obverse, large castle, rare. Thin from salvage but with bold VF details (castle and lion, B-P), darkly toned. g081504146024 $495

      Back to top

Transitional type

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, (1652)E Transitional, McLean Type II. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, (1652)E Transitional, McLean Type II. Bold full pillars with F-I-IIII / PLV-SV-LTR / E-I-E, top half of shield (and full crown) with I-A-(P-5) to left and I-O-E-(2) to right, VF with toned fields, some flatness. g021704373001 $195
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, (1652)E Transitional, McLean Type II. Full pillars, most of shield, broad-flan but unevenly-struck Fine+ with dark toning in crevices, small hole at edge. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, (1652)E Transitional, McLean Type II. Full pillars, most of shield, broad-flan but unevenly-struck Fine+ with dark toning in crevices, small hole at edge. g021704373002 $95

 

      Back to top

Pillars-and-waves 8 reales

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1676E, Calbeto Plate Coin. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1676E, Calbeto Plate Coin. S-P37b; KM-26; CT-351. 25.84 grams. Very crude coin with low contrast due to dark toning and light surface corrosion (possibly from a wreck, otherwise Fine), but with two dates and mintmarks, three assayers, one nice crown, and desirable for its pedigree (this date considered rather scarce in Calbeto's time but now more common due to the Consolacion wreck of 1681). Plate Coin #1081 in Calbeto's Compendium VIII Reales (1970). g061604192019 $395
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1707Y. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1685VR. S-P40; KM-26; CT-368. 27.84 grams. Broad flan in an attractive "fat barrel" shape with curved sides nicely coincident with the pillars design, which is full but with some flat spots, same for the cross, lots of legend, overall three dates (including full 1685 in legend) and full king's name, XF for actual wear. g111804191024 $850
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1707Y. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1687VR. S-P40; KM-26; CT-372. 26.93 grams. Three dates and assayers and mintmarks, full CAROLVS II, technically full cross and pillars-and-waves but all a bit crude (weak spots), AVF with dark toning in crevices. With Historic Real Treasures (Augi Garcia) photo-certificate. g111804191025 $325
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1707Y. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1707Y. S-P43a; KM-31; CT-867. 26.84 grams. Chunky flan with full but doubled pillars and cross, toned Fine, three dates. g111604192003 $295
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1712Y. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1712Y. S-P43a; KM-31; CT-872. 26.34 grams. Good full cross, messy pillars on crude (chunky) flan, two dates (very scarce thus), VF for the era (sharp edges) with light toning all over. g061604192022 $295
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1712Y. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1712Y. S-P43a; KM-31; CT-872. 26.82 grams. Chunky and crude, with central details only, the pillars side doubled, but with two dates visible and traditionally scarce, technically no worse than AVF, nicely toned. g061604193067 $250
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1712Y. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1712Y. S-P43a; KM-31; CT-872. 26.01 grams. Very crude strike (chunky and mostly flat) but with clear date, About Fine with uneven toning and spots of green, scarce. g051704191062 $225
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1737E. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1737E. 26.38 grams. Bold date and assayer and mintmark above full waves, nearly full but doubled cross, uneven toning and light surface corrosion, VF details. g081718051001 $240
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1745q. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1745q. S-P50; KM-31a; CT-909. 26.94 grams. Very chunky flan with crude but well-centered pillars and cross, bold date, Fine, deeply toned. g121604340001 $275
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1745q. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales, 1752q. S-P52; KM-40. 27.41 grams. XF, chunky flan and quite oveweight, edges crude from clipping during manufacture, partial yet bold pillars and cross, gold toning all over. g081804627007 $395

      Back to top

Pillars-and-waves 4 reales

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 4 reales, 1753q. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 4 reales, 1765(V)-Y. S-P57; KM-44; CT-1158. 13.18 grams. Two very bold dates, full centers but peripheries flat, AVF with sediment on fields, slightly rough surfaces. g051804191098 SOLD

      Back to top

Pillars-and-waves 2 reales

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1665E. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1665E. 4.78 grams. Crude flan with bold waves and tops of pillars, off-center cross, lightly corroded Fine with flat spots. g061604284005 $110
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1674E. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1674E. 7.32 grams. Full cross and pillars, two dates, solid VF but with lots of dark toning and staining and verdigris (needs cleaning). g061504191115 $165
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1676E. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1676E. 6.35 grams. Good full cross, full but off-center pillars, two clear dates and mintmarks and assayers, lightly toned VF with small edge-split. g051604275001 $195
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1686VR. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1686VR. 5.96 grams. VF, mostly dark toned, wide and thin planchet, bold details with two dates visible. g101804231017 $195
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1733E. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1733E. 5.16 grams. Fine, full date below cross and two partial dates on pillars side, dark toning in crevices. g121804671286 $95
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1748q. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1748q. 6.95 grams. AU, patchy dark toning and some encrustation from being a hoard coin, bold design. g091818101015 $90
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1755q. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 2 reales, 1755q. 5.71 grams. Clear date, bold assayer, toned but very worn (AVG). g071513031012 $65

      Back to top

Pillars-and-waves 1 reales

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, 1684V. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, 1684V. 2.89 grams. Good full pillars and cross, VF+ with hairline edge-split, three assayers. g061604191135 $75
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, 1690VR. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, 1690VR. 3.07 grams. Fine with toned field, two dates. Pedigreed to our Auction #5, with original lot-tag #823. g051804191210 $95
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, 1717Y. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, 1717Y. 2.24 grams. aVF, off-center strike, rather bold details, dark toning in fields. g121804671284 $35
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, 1750q. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1 real, 1750q. 3.29 grams. Dark VF, two dates. g121804671285 $40

      Back to top

Pillars-and-waves 1/2 reales

Image Preview

(Click image to enlarge)

Description

Item #

Price

Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, (1654), PH at top, 1/4R flan (unique). Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, (1654), PH at top, 1/4R flan (unique). Good cross, full crown above PH but monogram off the flan (poorly centered), very small flan (thin) that appears to be for a 1/4 real (which did not exist this late), VF with light toning. g081504146031 $395
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, 1656 (date in legend), distinctive monogram superimposed on cross with 4 dots, rare. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, 1656 (date in legend), distinctive monogram superimposed on cross with 4 dots, rare. Broad enough flan to show bottoms of all four digits of date in cross-side legend, good cross but messy (doubled) monogram, richly old-toned Fine with hole. g061504192014 $95
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, 1686. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, 1686. 1.03 grams. F/VF, some dark toning, two clear dates. g101804231033 $55
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, 1744. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, 1744. Bold date (possibly 4/3), incomplete monogram and cross, Fine with patchy toning. g061604191149 $50
Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, 1744. Potosi, Bolivia, cob 1/2 real, 1763. 1.61 grams. Fine with some encrustation, bold and clearly visible 763 of date, rare date. g101804231034 $95

  

    Back to top

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC - PO BOX 1964 | Winter Park, FL 32790 | Phone 407.975.3325 | office@sedwickcoins.com

 

   Join our Mailing List - Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC      IAPN MEMBER-  International Association of Professional Numismatists  ANA MEMBER American Numismatic Association

 

eBay Store Sedwickcoins  Online Store www.SedwickCoins.comThe Cob Report: Numismatic BlogLike Us on Facebook