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07-22-22 Friday meTaL pOrN: Venezuelan Gold

WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 22, 2022 2:12PM in Precious Metals

I posted a couple weeks back that tiny Venezuelan gold piece with an indigenous tribal chief:

This is part of an enigmatic series produced in the 1950s by/for Venezuela by the Interchange Bank of Switzerland. Each features a tribal chief, or cacique, of the 16th century--during the early encounters of the conquistadores. Eighteen designs in all.

Struck in 90% pure gold, these pieces came in at least 3 sizes: 1.5 gram, denominated as 5 Bolívares , 6 gram or 20 Bolívares size, and the 20 gram or 60 Bolívares size, and were produced in at least two periods--the original uncirculated finish in 1955, and the prooflike finish in 1962. There is some disagreement as to whether these were actually monetized, though it seems odd to have specific denominations if they weren't intended to trade.

I'd been aware of this series for several years, but information about these pieces is spotty. One came into a local shop a couple years ago and I didn't have the $$$ to buy it, and I kicked myself ever since. When that tiny one came into the shop I jumped at it.

But of course that stoked the old fires for the series. I love the mid-century modern design. Not quite caricature, to me it shows at least a degree of ferocity and beauty.

And I sold a couple of properties last week for a decent profit. So I went on a bit of a shopping spree :*

And of course the really cool thing is that these were clearly intended to be bullion pieces. Early bullion pieces--predating the Krugerrand by more than a decade. The gold content is listed on the common reverse in terms of total weight at the 90% gold alloy from which they are struck (22.2 grams, see the upper border) and the pure gold content as well (20 grams, the lower border):

We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
--Severian the Lame

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