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Remarkable 1767 Colombia Escudo, Perhaps The Single Finest Example of the Type

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Remarkable 1767 Colombia Escudo, Perhaps The Single Finest Example of the Type

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Details

 Colombia. 1767-J escudo. Popayan mint. MS-63 (NGC). Struck in the name of Carlos III with the portrait of Fernando VI. An extraordinarily bright, fresh, and lustrous example of this type, certainly among the finest known. The cartwheel lustre careens easily around both sides, with bright light yellow gold still looking much as it did the day this coin was struck. A bit of coppery toning turns up in a few small areas in the northwest quadrant of the obverse periphery. Scattered light marks near the centers of both sides are seen, along with some very subtle hairlines, the kind of marks more likely to have been caused in a bag or keg than in circulation or in the hands of a collector. The design elements are fully struck and sharp on both sides, and no notable marks are noted. The eye appeal is magnificent for a Spanish colonial gold coin of this era, not held back by the usual hairlines or evidence of cleaning that even high grade Latin American gold from the 18th century so often shows.

Among 1 escudos of Colombia, a type that would have been called a "half pistole" in early America, this is the earliest one to receive an MS-63 grade at NGC; it is, in fact, one of just 4 coins of this denomination graded MS-63 from the colonial era (the others are dated 1799/8, 1799, and 1813). The only MS-64 is an 1816 escudo. It is the highest graded Carlos III escudo of this bust type (pre-1772, with the bust of Fernando VI) by eight points. This grade is similarly rare among milled Mexico escudos until you get to the late 1790s; none are graded MS-63 among the milled 1 escudo coins struck in Lima. PCGS has graded two examples of this date (EF-45 and AU-58) but not a single example of the type in Mint State. There was nothing this nice among the magnificent Latin American gold in the Eliasberg Collection, most of which came from the legendary John Clapp collection, sourced by scouring Latin American sources in the first two decades of the 20th century. Even the mighty Norweb collection of Colombian gold coins (Spink America, 1997) included only circulated examples of this type, and the magnificent Caballeo de las Yndias collection (Aureo, Barcelona, 2009) had a coin graded Choice EF (probably Choice AU by American certified standards) that hammered at 2300 euros. Heritage has never had an example of this type graded higher than AU-55 (NGC)

I have long looked for very high grade Spanish colonial gold from the 18th century with original surfaces that would be fit for a connoisseur quality type collection. The original surfaces part is tough, and it keeps me from buying 90% of the stuff I see, as heavy hairlines are endemic. This piece is so flashy and impressive that I'd be greatly surprised if it didn't have a provenance to a famous old-time collection. If Mrs. Norweb or John Clapp had seen it, they would have snapped it up. 

Additional Information

Grading Service NGC
Grade MS63
Designation N/A
Mint Location N/A
Strike Type N/A
Circulated/Uncirc Uncirculated
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 1200011

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Description

Details

 Colombia. 1767-J escudo. Popayan mint. MS-63 (NGC). Struck in the name of Carlos III with the portrait of Fernando VI. An extraordinarily bright, fresh, and lustrous example of this type, certainly among the finest known. The cartwheel lustre careens easily around both sides, with bright light yellow gold still looking much as it did the day this coin was struck. A bit of coppery toning turns up in a few small areas in the northwest quadrant of the obverse periphery. Scattered light marks near the centers of both sides are seen, along with some very subtle hairlines, the kind of marks more likely to have been caused in a bag or keg than in circulation or in the hands of a collector. The design elements are fully struck and sharp on both sides, and no notable marks are noted. The eye appeal is magnificent for a Spanish colonial gold coin of this era, not held back by the usual hairlines or evidence of cleaning that even high grade Latin American gold from the 18th century so often shows.

Among 1 escudos of Colombia, a type that would have been called a "half pistole" in early America, this is the earliest one to receive an MS-63 grade at NGC; it is, in fact, one of just 4 coins of this denomination graded MS-63 from the colonial era (the others are dated 1799/8, 1799, and 1813). The only MS-64 is an 1816 escudo. It is the highest graded Carlos III escudo of this bust type (pre-1772, with the bust of Fernando VI) by eight points. This grade is similarly rare among milled Mexico escudos until you get to the late 1790s; none are graded MS-63 among the milled 1 escudo coins struck in Lima. PCGS has graded two examples of this date (EF-45 and AU-58) but not a single example of the type in Mint State. There was nothing this nice among the magnificent Latin American gold in the Eliasberg Collection, most of which came from the legendary John Clapp collection, sourced by scouring Latin American sources in the first two decades of the 20th century. Even the mighty Norweb collection of Colombian gold coins (Spink America, 1997) included only circulated examples of this type, and the magnificent Caballeo de las Yndias collection (Aureo, Barcelona, 2009) had a coin graded Choice EF (probably Choice AU by American certified standards) that hammered at 2300 euros. Heritage has never had an example of this type graded higher than AU-55 (NGC)

I have long looked for very high grade Spanish colonial gold from the 18th century with original surfaces that would be fit for a connoisseur quality type collection. The original surfaces part is tough, and it keeps me from buying 90% of the stuff I see, as heavy hairlines are endemic. This piece is so flashy and impressive that I'd be greatly surprised if it didn't have a provenance to a famous old-time collection. If Mrs. Norweb or John Clapp had seen it, they would have snapped it up. 

Additional

Additional Information

Grading Service NGC
Grade MS63
Designation N/A
Mint Location N/A
Strike Type N/A
Circulated/Uncirc Uncirculated
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 1200011

Related Blog Article(s)

Listed below are blog articles related to this product listing, if applicable:

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