US Coins

Counterstamped gold Central American Republic coin in ANA auction

Stack's Bowers Galleries' auction during the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., includes an 1837 gold Central American Republic 4 escudos coin counterstamped for use in Costa Rica.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries.

This year both Heritage Auctions and Stack’s Bowers Galleries will be hosting official auctions throughout the American Numismatic Association World Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., which runs from Aug. 5 to 9.

On Aug. 6 Stack’s Bowers will hold its Rarities Night auction and Heritage has its Platinum Night paper money auction. 

The next night Heritage hosts its U.S. coins Platinum Night sale, and on Aug. 8 Heritage has a third Platinum Night auction, featuring ancient and world coins. Beyond these big auctions, many more auction sessions will be spread out during the convention. 

Although the two firms are offering around 10,000 lots during the ANA show — including multiple seven-figure rarities — here are a few lots that our editors selected to represent the range of diverse world coins and paper money selections the official ANA auctions offer. 

Costa Rica counterstamped 1837 Central American Republic gold 4 escudos, About Uncirculated 53

Stack’s Bowers, Aug. 7

Counterfeiting led to one of Costa Rica’s rarest coins, from the early days of the nation’s founding.

Costa Rica separated from the Central American Republic in 1838 but continued to use the confederation’s coinage. 

When fake gold 4- and 8-escudo coins of the Central American Republic surfaced in Leon, Nicaragua, a decree of Dec. 24, 1841, mandated that all coins then in circulation in Costa Rica, predominantly those of the Central American Republic but also foreign coins, would be countermarked. Silver coins had a portion removed to pay for the countermarking.

The only known genuine Central American Republic host coins for the gold issues are the 1837 4-escudo pieces and 1835 2-escudo coins, according to Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Only five examples of genuine countermarked gold 4-escudo coins were known before this sixth example surfaced, the auction firm said, and this is the finest certified.

The six-pointed star countermark is applied on the reverse of the coin. The example offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries is graded About Uncirculated 53 by PCGS and is estimated to realize $12,000 to $16,000.

Visit Stack's Bowers Galleries online.

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