Comayagua, Honduras, provisional "imitation cob" 2 reales, 1823-C(Y), very rare, encapsulated NGC VF

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / World Coins - World (H-O) Start Price:1,500.00 USD Estimated At:2,000.00 - 3,000.00 USD
Comayagua, Honduras, provisional  imitation cob  2 reales, 1823-C(Y), very rare, encapsulated NGC VF
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Comayagua, Honduras, provisional "imitation cob" 2 reales, 1823-C(Y), very rare, encapsulated NGC VF details / holed, ex-Richard Stuart (designated on label). KM-unl (cf 15.2); Jara p. 100 (similar to figure 46). 4.72 grams. Roundish flan with one full pillar and clear date with certain C to left, off-center cross with grouping of four dots in each quadrant, nice toning on fields, attractive despite the noted old perforation near edge. Very rare as a type with only around a dozen confirmed examples, and thus quite desirable despite the noted impairment. NGC #4486426-004. Pedigreed to the Richard Stuart collection.

Honduras Provisional Imitation Cobs 1823-1825
by Carlos Jara

When writing Volume I of my work Central American Provisional and Provincial Mints: 1822-1825, I focused on gathering all available archival documentation on the subject. What I found allowed for a proper general understanding of those issues, including the “imitation cobs” dated 1823-1825 that were struck at various mints of Honduras and Nicaragua. Volume II, which will comprise the detailed catalog of those issues, will be completed soon. In the meantime, the series of imitation cobs has become more popular, aided by the sale of Richard Stuart’s magnificent collection. When reviewing the many other collections and past auctions, I came to an inevitable conclusion: The Stuart collection was more important and comprehensive than all the other collections put together! Indeed, Richard’s holdings are unprecedented both in completeness and overall quality, and the present offering represents a unique opportunity for the specialist.

Most of the imitation cobs issued in Central America in the 1823-1825 period bear the “P. M. P. Y.” initials in the upper and lower quadrants of the obverse, and are thus logically referred to as the “PMPY” group of issues. They encompass coins issued both in Tegucigalpa (Honduras) and León (Nicaragua), and the “P. M. P. Y.” initials can now be interpreted as follows:

• The “P. M.” initials found in the upper quadrants are carried on from earlier issues and stand for “Provisional” and “Moneda” respectively.
• The “P. Y.” initials of the lower quadrants are imitative of the Potosi cob issues of the 1723-1725 period, and are not a mintmark or assayer, as has been proposed in the past.

The “P. M. P. Y.” initials are found on both Tegucigalpa and León issues and the differentiating trait between them is the device found atop the pillars: pinetree, trefoil or owl-face. Die-punch study between these issues shows that the coins were issued at two separate, independent mints.

The issues of the “PMPY” group that can now be attributed to Tegucigalpa are identified by the device atop the pillars resembling a trefoil (or a key). They are more available among all contemporary mints of both Honduras and Nicaragua but remain quite difficult to find in higher grades.

The issues of the mint of Comayagua (Honduras), on the other hand, are easier to attribute because of their “C. Y.” mintmark, and they are extremely rare and thus much more important as a series. This extreme rarity has contributed to their being relatively undervalued, since most collectors are hardly aware of their existence. In this age of shared digital technology, this should change quickly now that these coins are properly identified.

Carlos Jara is a well know expert in Latin American Numismatics and has published a number of works in this field including “Historia de la Casa de Moneda de Guatemala: 1733-1776““ and “Central American Provisional and Provincial Mints“ Both of these are now the definitive references on their subject.