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    Description

    The Unique 50 Francos from Ecuador

    Republic gold 50 Francos 1862-GJ, KM-Pn10, AU55 NGC, a choice original example with attractive toning and abundant underlying mint luster. Perhaps the most interesting and desired South American coin, this unique 50 Francos piece was unknown for almost a century until it was discovered by Robert Friedberg in the 1950's. It is likely that Friedberg discovered this piece amongst the Virgil Brand collection he acquired around this time. It first appeared in Gimbels (where Friedberg worked) fixed price list in 1956 for US$3500. In 1962, it was offered in Hans Schulman's "The Golden Sale of the Century" where it was illustrated and sold for US$7500. Finally, it was offered and sold by Christie's in the "Escudo Sale" of March 1970 and on April 1st of the same year it was authenticated and evaluated by Schulman for $10,000. The certificate as presented to the owner of the coin, Enrique Maulme, accompanies this lot.

    An apparent contradiction to the Reales/Escudos denomination of the time, the 50 Francos was actually struck not for internal circulation but for international trade. Some researchers argue that this piece was struck at the Paris Mint, since it features the "A" mint mark, but it is our opinion that it was actually struck in Ecuador mainly due to the crudeness of the design and overall engraving quality. Important South American numismatist Carlos Jara also argues that this piece was probably part of a small circulation issue coin while Friedberg and Krause both list it as a pattern piece.

    It is unquestionable though that this piece is one of the most charismatic and intriguing coins of South America if not the world. We find great honor in offering it to the numismatic world and are certain that it will find a new home in a most advanced numismatic cabinet.
    Weight: 15.88 grams.
    Diameter: 28.06 mm to 28.56 mm
    Thickness: 1.86 mm


    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    3rd-4th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 8,534

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