Colonial Chilean—The Seldom-Seen Series from the Popular Array of Spanish Coinage in the New World

​Following voyages from Europe to the New World in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the influx of inhabitants necessitated currency that would allow for commerce more efficiently than merely transporting coinage from Spain and her main native mint in Madrid. Given the vast natural resources of precious metals in the Central and South American colonies, striking coins locally was an obvious choice. This was accomplished, most popularly and commonly encountered by the numismatic community, at the mint in Mexico City, but also at other colonial mints such as Lima, Guatemala City, and Potosi. One of these New World mints at Santiago (in what is now Chile) offers quite a challenge within the “Pillars and Portraits” series of 8 Reales. Mintage figures are smaller and survival rates are much lower than for other contemporary colonial minting facilities. As such, these Santiaguines are rather tough to come by, especially when attempting to build a collection of dates. In fact, not since the legendary Viceroy Amat Collection—cataloged and presented by Ponterio&  Associates in 1991—has there been a rather comprehensive offering of this series, which is widely known throughout Latin American numismatics as perhaps the most challenging.

Our official auction of the 2020 New York International Numismatic Convention will feature the Santa Fe Collection, along with some other pieces, comprising the best array of dates to cross the auction block collectively since the Viceroy Amat Collection nearly 30 years ago. The earlier period under Ferdinand VI and Charles III presents an amazing run of nine dates, including an iconic Pillar Dollar and a posthumous issue for Charles III issued in 1789 under his successor. Slightly less rare are the numerous dates—16 in all—from the later period under Charles IV and Ferdinand VII. Overall, this exceptional section of colonial issues offers many examples  with incredible pedigrees, including Norweb, the aforementioned Viceroy Amat, Johnson, Faistauer, and Freeman Craig. They also feature extremely low populations and a great many are the finest known for their respective dates. Whether a seasoned collector of the Chilean colonial series or an eager newcomer to these rather difficult New World issues, our presentation in the forthcoming N.Y.I.N.C. will assuredly delight as it is unlikely to be equaled anytime soon.

To view our upcoming auction schedule and future offerings, please visit where you may register and participate in this and other future sales.

We are always seeking coins, medals, and pieces of paper money for our future sales, and are currently accepting submissions for our next Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction will be in February 2020. Following that, our next larger format auction will be our Official Auction of the Hong Kong Show in March 2020—a monumental event that will mark our tenth anniversary of auctions in Asia! 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.

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