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Paraguay NYINC Highlight World Coin

The First Gold Coin of Paraguay — An Ultimate South American Rarity

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

Author: Jeremy Bostwick / Wednesday, October 16, 2019 / Categories: World Coin of the Week

Along the lines of many of other Central and South American countries under yoke of Spanish rule, Paraguay declared independence from her colonial oppressors in May of 1811, although it would be governed by dictatorial and military régimes, along with pseudo-presidencies, for the next 60 years. During the extensive "presidency" of Paraguay's first president, Carlos Antonio López, the Paraguayan real was established as the nation's monetary unit in 1845, replacing the use of neighboring currencies. This was succeeded by the Paraguayan peso a decade later in 1856. Mostly produced in silver and base metal denominations, a gold issue was struck in exceedingly small quantities in 1867. This "4 Pesos Fuertes" featured on its obverse a lion seated right, with its head facing, all before a radiant Phrygian cap (signifying liberty and freedom) on a pole. On the reverse was an allegory of Justice seated facing on a throne, holding a branch and scales, and resting her hand upon a reversed sword.

Our upcoming Official Auction of the 2020 N.Y.I.N.C. will feature one of these incredible rarities – a specimen which we have handled previously. This example is from the storied collection of Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., who acquired it in 1942. It last sold in our (ANR) sale of the Eliasberg World Gold Coin Collection in April 2005, bringing a hammer price of $36,000. In that listing, we noted just a handful of specimens outside of this one, including one in the 1988 Guia sale, one sold privately circa 1980, one in the 1908 Ulex sale, and one in the museum in Rio de Janeiro. Following the fire at that museum last September, the Rio specimen may no longer be extant, as approximately 90% of the museum's collection was lost to the inferno—quite possibly making the present specimen that much rarer and even more important. Accordingly, for the collector of South American rarities, this is assuredly near the top of the list, and is almost never available on the market. Estimated at $40,000–60,000, we wholeheartedly expect immense interest and bidding for this golden Paraguayan treasure.

To view our upcoming auction schedule and future offerings, please visit our website StacksBowers.com where you may register and participate in forthcoming sales.

We are always seeking coins, medals, and pieces of paper money for our future sales, and are currently accepting submissions for our Official Auction of the N.Y.I.N.C. in January 2020. Following that, our next Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction will be in February 2020. If you would like to learn more about consigning, whether a singular item or an entire collection, please contact one of our consignment directors today and we will assist you in achieving the best possible return on your material.