A Complete Type Set of the Gold Coins of the Central American Republic


It is not difficult to complete a type set of CAR gold, coins minted in Guatemala and Costa Rica from the 1820s until 1850! For rare, historically important, and attractive 19th century gold rarities, market prices are not high, from a logical perspective.

Many CAR gold coins cost less than $1000 each; some can be had for less than $250. While 4 Escudos and 8 Escudos coins are much more expensive, these tend to be available every year.

Many examples are cited in the current article. Also, Andy Lustig is quoted.

Do the members of this forum agree that most (not all) CAR gold coins are excellent values? Does anyone not like them?

Gold Coins of the Central American Republic: Costa Rica & Guatemala

Silver Coins of the Central American Republic

"In order to understand the scarce coins that you own or see, you must learn about coins that you cannot afford." -Me

Comments

  • bidaskbidask Posts: 9,637 ✭✭✭

    I agree they are affordable and beautifully designed coins .

    Excellent value is a relative question !

    Share the joy and its multiplied by two.
    Share the grief and its halved by two.
  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 10,068 ✭✭✭

    That's a fascinating article.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 6,492 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The prices you quote are not really reasonable if you want a nice problem free example. I have a 1/2e, 1e, 2e and 4e and would love to find a nice 8e. While they may come up for sale on occasion, the vast majority of them have issues despite being straight graded.

  • AnalystAnalyst Posts: 1,440 ✭✭✭

    BoosiBri: . I think it would be more helpful to provide prices which don't reflect the bottom end of the range but a reasonable approximation for a problem free coin. Granted 75% of what is on the market is not problem free but that doesn't mean that problem coins are the correct reference point.

    More so than almost all authors, I welcome criticism. Although it contains some truth, this remark by BoosiBri is misleading. The current article is aimed at beginners, is designed to be useful to people who are on tight budgets, and relates to typical survivors of CAR gold coin issues, not especially choice examples. Moreover, it makes sense for beginners to buy low cost coins while they are learning about CAR issues and learning how to grade them. A collector who spends $200 on a Half-Escudo coin is not risking much money and can upgrade at a later time.

    Besides, most of the CAR gold coins that I mentioned are typical not 'bottom end.' I have been viewing CAR coins for many years and have a solid understanding of the range of quality that characterizes survivors. The coins I mention are correct reference points.

    BoosiBri: I have a 1/2e, 1e, 2e and 4e and would love to find a nice 8e. While they may come up for sale on occasion, the vast majority of them have issues despite being straight graded.

    Although this statement by BoosiBri would be perfectly sensible in many other contexts, it is unfair when directed at my current article, in which his very point was already soundly addressed.

    A clearly gradable and particularly attractive CAR 8E coin would probably cost more than $15,000. For 19th-century Latin American series, there are many coins that U.S. coin experts would regard as non-gradable that have received numerical grades from NGC or PCGS. ... An expert should honestly point out both positive and negative factors so that informed collectors can make sensible decisions and not be unpleasantly surprised at a later time.Copyright 2016 Greg Reynolds

    I am delighted that BoosiBri is interested in relatively original coins with minimal imperfections. There may not be anyone who is a more active proponent of originality in coins, and opponent of deliberate modifications, than I am. It is, however, important to tell people the truth about the coins that are available and the costs involved. In some cases, a coin in a 'Genuine' or 'details' holder is an excellent value, especially if a coin of the same issue that is only slightly better costs two to five times as much.

    The Specter of Coin Doctoring and The Survival of Great Coins

    "In order to understand the scarce coins that you own or see, you must learn about coins that you cannot afford." -Me
  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    I certainly enjoyed the article. I collect CAR coinage, and have seen some nice AU half escudos recently. But four and eight... I have not been lucky enough to see them even on Details or Genuine. I would not mind at all as long as the details are on the coin.

  • LochNESSLochNESS Posts: 4,754 ✭✭✭
    edited November 5, 2016 9:14AM

    Was hoping to see pics, got a great article. Win.

    edit: This is a great excerpt, especially for the novice: "It is important for collectors to discuss the precise physical characteristics of coins with experts. An expert should honestly point out both positive and negative factors so that informed collectors can make sensible decisions and not be unpleasantly surprised at a later time."

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  • bronzematbronzemat Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭

    Nearly all out of my price range but love the sun face coins. Got a few coppers, about it.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 14,940 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wonderful article. I've looked into both the silver and gold coins. Great to have more information on these wonderful pieces!

  • Great article. It was quite an enjoyable read. You have made me want to look into these coins a bit more closely.

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 20,391 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Based on some of the comments, it might have been better to provide prices for typical "straight graded" coins, and then explain that especially attractive coins can bring substantial premiums, and that "details graded" coins typically bring substantially lower prices. (I say this not to quibble, but as a suggestion for future articles.)

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic……………………...Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.

    image
  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    Now that I am just missing the 8 escudos to have the type set, I wish @Analyst will tell me where (BTW this is not sarcasm, honest comment) to get the 8 escudos for prices as described. I know I cannot afford an "original" and can live with a details coin, but I have never seen one like that.

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 20,391 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Abuelo said:
    Now that I am just missing the 8 escudos to have the type set, I wish @Analyst will tell me where (BTW this is not sarcasm, honest comment) to get the 8 escudos for prices as described. I know I cannot afford an "original" and can live with a details coin, but I have never seen one like that.

    I bought one at the last Long Beach show at 4200. Sold it to a dealer at ANA for 5K. I know that doesn't help you now, but the point is that the coins are out there.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic……………………...Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.

    image
  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    Thanks @MrEureka will keep the eyes open and be patient. And like every few months will see if any makes its way to the Baltimore show.

  • AnalystAnalyst Posts: 1,440 ✭✭✭

    Abuelo: I certainly enjoyed the article. I collect CAR coinage, and have seen some nice AU half escudos recently. But four and eight... I have not been lucky enough to see them even on Details or Genuine. I would not mind at all as long as the details are on the coin.

    Zoins: Wonderful article. I've looked into both the silver and gold coins. Great to have more information on these wonderful pieces!

    Orfew: Great article. It was quite an enjoyable read. You have made me want to look into these coins a bit more closely.

    I very much appreciate such positive feedback. For many years, I have had a fondness for CAR gold.

    I also discuss CAR gold in my auction coverage in January 2013 and in a series on the Frederick Mayer Collection.

    Webster Collection of Costa Rican Coins

    Abuelo: Now that I am just missing the 8 escudos to have the type set, I wish @Analyst will tell me where (BTW this is not sarcasm, honest comment) to get the 8 escudos for prices as described. I know I cannot afford an "original" and can live with a details coin, but I have never seen one like that.

    Abuelo probably already knows to monitor the offerings in Stack's-Bowers, Heritage and Goldbergs auctions, in addition to sending a want list to Mr. Eureka. I will be 'on the lookout' as well. Although CAR gold is really neat, offerings are scarce. I suggest that a collector not devote a large percentage of his coin collecting budget to such an area. It is best to simultaneously pursue multiple collecting objectives.

    Here are two articles about other relatively inexpensive pursuits.

    Silver Coins of Gran Colombia: One Real (12½¢) and Two Reales (25c)

    Affordable Fourpence Silver Groats of King Henry VIII

    "In order to understand the scarce coins that you own or see, you must learn about coins that you cannot afford." -Me
  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    Thanks @Analyst I for sure keep an eye to these and other fine sellers :-D Just this week got a 2E from CR at Stack's that was hunting for a while...

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 20,391 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Abuelo said:
    Thanks @Analyst I for sure keep an eye to these and other fine sellers :-D Just this week got a 2E from CR at Stack's that was hunting for a while...

    Which one?

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic……………………...Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.

    image
  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    Here it is @MrEureka

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 103 ✭✭✭
    edited August 8, 2017 2:10AM

    The best part is that I think I paid a fair price for (what appears to be) a problem free coin, quite attractive as far as the images go.

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    BTW @Analyst nice paper on Colombian coins. I very much have my non-CAR coins limited to Mexico (Iturbide, pesos fuertes, and a little known series of Ferdinand VII 1/2 escudos). But maybe one day will experiment with Colombian coins!

  • MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 20,391 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Abuelo said:
    The best part is that I think I paid a fair price for (what appears to be) a problem free coin, quite attractive as far as the images go.

    I saw the coin in hand and liked it enough to bid. Might have even been your underbidder.

    But I was hoping that you got the 1827 Guatemala 2 Escudos instead. That was the real trophy and a good value, even at the much higher price.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic……………………...Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.

    image
  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    @MrEureka said:

    @Abuelo said:
    The best part is that I think I paid a fair price for (what appears to be) a problem free coin, quite attractive as far as the images go.

    I saw the coin in hand and liked it enough to bid. Might have even been your underbidder.

    But I was hoping that you got the 1827 Guatemala 2 Escudos instead. That was the real trophy and a good value, even at the much higher price.

    There was a wallet limit...

  • @MrEureka said:

    @Abuelo said:
    The best part is that I think I paid a fair price for (what appears to be) a problem free coin, quite attractive as far as the images go.

    I saw the coin in hand and liked it enough to bid. Might have even been your underbidder.

    But I was hoping that you got the 1827 Guatemala 2 Escudos instead. That was the real trophy and a good value, even at the much higher price.

    I thought so.

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