Amazing Bolivian Cob by Congo Kid
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Mint State Cob

 

I am pleased to announce my latest early Latin American coin. It is a Bolivia 1686 P VR 1 Real 2.9 grams NGC MS63. There are no other Bolivian coins of the type approaching the condition of this magnificent Potosi mint Charles II Cob. This coin is also approaching a round shape with the date, mintmark, and assayer initials all struck up and sharply defined. To find a mint state silver cob of any series is quite amazing.

17544.jpg

 

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Nice!

(I thought "cob" was reserved for 8 reales?)

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Cob is the method of manufacturing. Virtually all the early Latin American coins (1500-1700's) of all denominations in both silver and gold are cobs.

 

What is a Cob coin?

 

By reading The Practical Book of Cobs we understand that "cobs" are the original "treasure coins." Struck and trimmed by hand in the 1500s through 1700s at Spanish mints in Mexico, Peru, and Colombia (among others), silver and gold cobs are handsomely crude, nearly all with a cross as the central feature on one side and either a coat-of-arms (shield) or a tic-tac-toe-like "pillars and waves" on the other side. Silver cobs are known as "reales" and gold cobs are known as "escudos," with two 8 reales (about 27 grams each) equaling one escudo. Some cobs were struck with a date, and most show a mintmark and an initial or monogram for the assayer, the mint official who was responsible for weight and fineness. Size and shape were immaterial, which means that most cobs are far from round or uniform in thickness. Cobs were generally accepted as good currency all around the world, and were the exact coins pirates referred to as "pieces of eight" (8 reales) and "doubloons" (any gold cobs but originally 2 escudos).

 

Recommended Reading: The Practical Book of Cobs, 20th Anniversary (4th) edition, 2007 by Daniel Sedwick and Frank Sedwick.

 

Hope that helps.

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Thanks!

 

So, "cob" is properly applied to any coin made by similar methods of cutting cast stock and trimming the blank to weight before striking.

 

Another question. Some sources define a "piece of eight" as an 8 reales, and others define it as a the gold 8 escudo. Which, if either, is correct?

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Hope this helps.

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Pieces of eight".

 

The real de a ocho, also known as the Spanish dollar, the eight-real coin, or the piece of eight (Spanish peso de ocho), is a silver coin, of approximately 38 mm diameter, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after 1598. Its purpose was to correspond to the German thaler.

 

The doubloon (from Spanish doblón, meaning "double") was a two-escudo or 32-real gold coin;[1] weighing 6.867 grams (0.218 troy ounces) in 1537, and 6.766 grams from 1728, of .92 fine gold (22-carat gold).[2] Doubloons were minted in Spain, Mexico, Peru, and Nueva Granada. The term was first used to describe the golden excelente either because of its value of two ducats or because of the double portrait of Ferdinand and Isabella. The 8 escudos coins were also sometimes called a 4-doubloon coin.

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I saw that coin. There was another cob previously sold (don't remember the date or denomination) that I liked a lot more and in retrospect, should have bought it. I liked it because the color was a lot more "original". The other coin was also sold by Heritage.

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Thanks, Scott. I was hoping to stimulate some discussion, but that has not happened. :)

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I appreciate that RWB. I do my best to post some interesting stuff here. It seems that more people here are more interested in U.S. material. I personally like it all.

What are you collecting RWB?

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I hate when I pass something up and then regret it. :eek:

 

I have seen your signature set in the NGC Registry. It's a really nice cokllection. The coin you bought here, I like it but just think it would look better if the color reflected its age.

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I agree about the color. Hopefully in time it will tone a bit.

And thanks a lot! Which Custom Set were you referring to? The Latin American Beauties or the Belgian Congo?

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"What are you collecting RWB?"

 

At this point, mostly dust. :)

 

I do a bit of research in original materials, but my 17th century Castilian is a little rusty.

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I agree about the color. Hopefully in time it will tone a bit.

And thanks a lot! Which Custom Set were you referring to? The Latin American Beauties or the Belgian Congo?

 

Latin America.

 

And by the way, I collect pillars. So if you ever decide to sell your 1758 NGC AU-58 1/2 real, I would be interested in buying it. I bought the Trestamara coin a few years ago which I think will grade MS (it is still ungraded now) but don't mind owning duplicates, as I have many of them for Peru.

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Thanks for looking. Have you seen my 1757 8 Reales of Peru or my 1743 8 Reales of Mexico? Both are quite impressive MS63's. You'll like the old-time original toning.

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Not lately but I remember the Peru coin and agree with you. Since I plan to retire one day and don't buy coins for "investment", both of those are out of my price range.

 

I have had many opportunities to buy AU-55's or AU-58's of both but just did not. Peru pillar dollars especially (versus Mexico) with the attributes that US collectors like are hard to find. By this, I mean strong strike and good color/toning. Contact marks to me are less important as long as they aren't particularly noticeable but there aren't that many of either mint in the population reports above MS-62.

 

The coin I would most like to buy is a quality Peru pillar 4R. I have seen five of them that did or likely would grade XF or better but only two that I thought were really nice, as in AU and both of those were from 2002 on eBay.

 

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Scott, you have many nice coins and I suspect many are true gems. However, I can't quite tell based on those photos. I have found that learning to take better photos of my coins is almost as enjoyable as collecting them. ;)

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I have found a good place in my office with good enough lighting for better pics. I plan on updating many of my photos in my Latin American Beauties set soon. I did update a few so far.

Check out the improved photo to the Mexican 1743 Mo 8 Reales piece and let me know what you think.

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Nice Peruvian Pillar types are rarer than their Mexican counterparts. I love them all though. There are some monster Mexican Pillars coming to auction soon. If I win the lottery before that I plan on buying some! Really a lot of the nice AU's often are good deals for what they are.

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Nice Peruvian Pillar types are rarer than their Mexican counterparts. I love them all though. There are some monster Mexican Pillars coming to auction soon. If I win the lottery before that I plan on buying some! Really a lot of the nice AU's often are good deals for what they are.

 

Same here. Pillars are my favorite series which is why I don't buy much else anymore with my relatively limited budget.

 

My Gilboy reference claims Peru pillars are about five times scarcer. I haven't found his estimates to be particularly accurate though. As an example, I have seen almost zero Peru 1/2R, Real and 2R from 1760 onwards, outside of a few dates. These are the 1761 and 1765 1/2R and 1771 2R. There are a few others listed in the combined population reports but not many. I own a few of them.

 

There is a nice selection in the upcoming third installment of the Rudman sale. I will be looking to buy one each of the 1R and 4R. I passed on the last installment of the sale.

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