The Numismatic Tradition of Colombia and the Eldorado Collection

Colombia has a proud
numismatic tradition, extending in equal parts to the historic and fascinating
nature of the coins made there and the superb numismatists who have collected
and studied them for generations. The Eldorado Collection encapsulated both of
these branches of Colombian numismatic heritage, gathering coins of
extraordinary quality and importance in one place, and doing so with an
advanced specialist’s expert eye.

This offering of the
Eldorado Collection shepherds together many of the most notable highlights from
this wide-ranging cabinet, an accomplishment many decades in the making. The
coins span chronologically from the very first gold coin of the New World –the
1622 2 Escudos struck in Cartagena, a historic masterpiece of global importance
– to modern issues of the Bogota Mint. In the 350 years of history these coins
bookend, a nation blossomed, from colony, through fits and starts of several
republican (and not so republican) governments, to a modern power. The earliest
coins represent some of the first treasure taken from the ground by the
representatives of the Spanish crown, while those of the 19th century show a
nation whose wealth made it a player in world trade, and a home to growing
cities and grand aspirations.

This remarkable
historical legacy is written in gold and, to a lesser but still important
extent, silver. The vast majority of the coins in this offering are gold: onzas
from colonial days and their later descendants, patterns of European
workmanship and great beauty, and smaller denominations intended not for world
trade, but local circulation. The silver coins here are all from Colombia’s
colonial beginnings: a world class collection of cobs, from Cuartillos to 8
Reales; rare Pillar types; and an extensive run of portrait coins depicting
Carlos III and Carlos IV, including many struck during the reign of Ferdinand

No Colombian collection
has ever excelled in so many specialties. While our friend Joe Lasser may have
had more gold cobs, and Murias had an extensive run of portrait coins, no
Colombian cabinet ever assembled has brought together so many challenging
specialties into a single extraordinary grouping. Taken individually, most
would be the best ever collected in terms of quality and completeness. Taken as
a whole, nothing comes close.

The highlights are too
many to list. Not all rarities will have astronomical estimates, indeed, many
have yet to be fully appreciated for their importance. If Colombian coins are a
new endeavor, this is a fine place to wade into this fascinating field.

Good luck in your

John Kraljevich

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