I would appreciate your help in identifying the Spanish silver cob
coin, likely a 2-real piece, I recently found at a former South
Based on other finds from the area, the area was also used as a
camp by the British Army about 1780.
I am able to determine the following details about the coin:
1. It weighs 5.3 grams. Is the short weight possibly caused by a
part of the coin breaking away?
2. It was minted in Potosi.
3. The assayer’s mark could be an “I.”
4. I think I can make out the letters, “AROL,” which I take as
5. The obverse of the coin has a few details, such as waves, and
the possible number, “76.” Is the piece double-struck?
The coin, as with all my finds, goes to the plantation owner. If
you can provide an approximate date, I would appreciate it.
To date, the site has also given up nine Roman coins, including an
antoninianus of Gallas and a very nice siliqua of Julian II. I am not
claiming any previous Roman occupation of the site. However, it is
good evidence, I think, of an owner’s coin collection having been
looted by a British soldier and then lost.
The weight of the coin is one of the more difficult items to use
in attempts to identify this coin, because portions of the coin design
are definitely worn away.
Your guess of a Potosi Mint appears to be a good guess, and if so,
that Mint’s location was in Peru.
For background, according to Freeman Craig Jr. in The Coinage of
El Peru, pubished by the American Numismatic Society, “Assayers were
required to display their initial(s) on each coin in order that the
authorities could determine who was responsible if debased or
underweight pieces came to light.”
The relationship of the assayer to the time period can be used as
an identification tool, although Craig notes that it will work “as
long as official mint records are available and the assayer’s
initial(s) are clear on each coin.”
On the image at left above, it appears that the assayer’s initials
are A at right and possibly L at left.
The guesses you provide for the letters on the reverse and the
possible double-struck suggestion are difficult to determine.
Exact identification of this coin was not possible by Coin World.
The find of other coins at the plantation would seem to lend
credibility to the possibility of the owner being a coin collector.
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