Our Cover Coin this time can trace its origins back to the prolific mint of the Andes at Lima, Peru via the 1715 Spanish Plate Fleet. This piece is an extremely rare 1703/2 eight escudos … in excellent condition and that beautiful “butter gold” color that we all admire. The obverse (page-1) displays the familiar cross-potent, quartered with lions and castles typical of Lima gold. The abbreviated peripheral legend (in large letters) reads: (P)HILIPPVS Ÿ V Ÿ D Ÿ G Ÿ HISPA : … and continues on the reverse: ET YNDIARVM (RE)X.
The reverse is occupied by two crowned columns standing in ocean waves. Two horizontal lines join these pillars to form a cross-hatch design which makes three rows of figures as follows… Upper Row: L | 8 | H for Lima | 8 Escudos | H (assayer); Middle Row: P. | V. | A. (abbreviation for PLVS VLTRA); and the Bottom Row: 7 | 0 | 3/2 for the date.
The SedwickCoins description and pricing reads: “Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1703/2H, from the 1715 Fleet, very rare (unique overdate). This is an exciting coin: For starters it is lustrous Mint State and well struck, well centered and with virtually full legends, which enables the advanced researcher to study the dies carefully. The cross side is an exact match with Tauler #219, but the pillars-side die is previously unknown, either for 1702 or 1703 (of which only 2-3 of each are known, none in the State of Florida collection), with a straight-bottom crown that ended in 1703. The overdate is hard to see, due to minor doubling (localized to that spot only), but an overlay comparison with the “2” on the 1702 in our Auction #6 (lot 21) proves it. A unique coin like this has unlimited potential, but for comparison we would like to point out that the only other 1703 we have sold (Auction #3 lot 8, which was the highlight of the 2003 Tampa sale, where it sold for $13,250) realized $17,250 in 2008. Also note the previously cited 1702 sold for $25,300 in 2009! From the 1715 Fleet, with photo-certificate. Estimate: $15,000-up.”
This piece was offered at the Treasure, World & U.S. Coin Auction 14 on 10/30/2013.—EJR