Rare and Desirable Cuban Proof 20 Pesos

week’s highlight from our August 2017 Official Auction at the ANA World’s Fair
of Money in Denver, Colorado is a rare low mintage 1915 Cuban Proof 20 Pesos. This
is a two-year type produced only in 1915 and 1916. Prior to the issuance of
Cuba’s first national coinage foreign coins circulated freely and exchange
rates fluctuated daily.  On June 12, 1906,
a banking commission was set up to regulate the currencies then in circulation
and to consider a national coinage. This was met with opposition that finally
led to the National Economic Defense Law of October 29, 1914, which outlined
the weight, fineness and measurements of the specified denominations, but not
their actual designs. Since there had never been a mint in Havana, the U.S. Mint
at Philadelphia was given the contract, with Mr. Montoulieu as inspector on
behalf of the Cuban government. Bids to design this new coinage were invited, with
the contract finally awarded to Mr. Charles E. Barber of the Philadelphia Mint.
His design and craftsmanship was of the highest quality; some would consider
his work far superior to that of his contemporaries from the same source.  The 20 Pesos were set to the same standard as
United States $20 gold coins of the time. The obverse depicts the bust of
Patriot Jose Marti right, date below flanked by the weight of 33.436G (20 times
the weight of the gold 1 peso) and the purity 900M (900 fine). The reverse
depicts the arms of the republic of Cuba surrounded by an oak and laurel wreath
superimposed on a Fasces surmounted by a Phrygian cap, legend around.

actual mintage figures for the 20 Peso Proofs are unknown.  Mr. Thomas Lismore in his pamphlet “The
Coinage of Cuba 1870 to Date” (1966) speculates that perhaps 20 to 30 were
struck for inclusion in sets, but since the mintage figures include the Proofs
it is impossible to determine the actual number struck.  Mr. Lismore goes on to say that many of the Proofs
that he examined prior to his publication were not very well kept and “are no
longer proof quality.” Needless to say the example we are offering is a well
preserved specimen sure to excite even the most sophisticated of Cuban

are no longer accepting consignments for our August 2017 Official Auction of
the ANA World’s Fair of Money. However, we are accepting consignments of
Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our August 2017 Hong Kong Showcase
Auction. In addition to this, we are currently taking consignments of world and
ancient coins and world paper money for our October Collectors Choice Online
(CCO) auction and our January 2018 New York International Numismatic Convention
(NYINC) Auction. 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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West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

[email protected]

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