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All Posts Tagged With: "Friedberg"

Unique Item: Republic 50 Francos Gold Coin from Ecuador

50_francos_uniqueHeritage Wold Coin Auctions will be offering perhaps the most interesting and desired South American coin, the unique 50 Francos gold piece, which 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. Estimate: $400,000 – $500,000.