Finest Certified Countermarked Costa Rican 4 Escudos

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries August ANA World’s Fair of Money auction is nearly upon us! This is our largest auction of the year, with thousands of lots of world and ancient coins and paper currency. One of our highlights is a Costa Rican countermarked 4 Escudos, and this example is the finest certified.

The base coin is a Central American Republic 1837-CR-E 4 Escudos. The countermark is a radiant six pointed star and rosette at center all in a 4 mm circle applied at the base of the Ceiba tree.

According to Jorge Murillo, author of "Historia de las Monedas de Costa Rica," due to the introduction of counterfeit ounce and a half ounce gold coins (8 and 4 Escudos) by Julian Fabrega in Leon, Nicaragua, a full investigation was launched. By the decree of December 24, 1841, it was stated that all coins bearing the seal of the Central American Republic and any foreign coins, no matter what size, were to be countermarked. On the silver coinage that was countermarked, a small circular piece was extracted to test the purity and to pay for the work of countermarking.

The only known genuine host coins for the gold issues are the 1837-CR-E 4 Escudos and 1835-CR-F 2 Escudos. We have been able to track down five specimens of the 4 Escudos, with this piece being a newly discovered sixth example and we have determined it to be the finest. This coin is very rare and interesting. The offered piece is lustrous with light attractive toning and has virtually full details in the leaves of the Ceiba tree, with only slight signs of wear. The reverse is fully struck up with full details in the face and mountains.

Look for this and other world and ancient numismatic rarities in our August 2014 Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this July at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. While our Stack’s Bowers Galleries August ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction is closed for further consignments, we are currently taking consignments of ancient and world coins for our November 2014 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo and our 2015 January New York International Sale. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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