4 escudos Santiago 1788, Charles III

4 escudos Santiago 1788, Charles III

4 escudos Santiago 1788, Charles III

Period: Baroque

Country: Chile

Ruler: Charles III

Denomination: 4 escudos

Mint: Santiago of Chile

Weight: 13,45 g

Quality: VF30 die crack and adjustment marks

Auction house: Martí Hervera S.L

Date: 4 May 2017

Starting price: 2.500 euros

Historical context

Santiago mint issued its first coin in 1749. Interestingly it was a 4 escudos coin under the name of Ferdinad VI. This is a surprising fact because the mintage of 4 escudos was very low in comparison to other gold coins during the Spanish Empire. The reason is simple: 4 escudo coins weigh 13,53 grams, which is a very big amount of gold for daily transactions. Hence, the coinage of 1 or 2 escudo coins (the famous pistoles) was promoted. On the other hand, in order to store gold, 8 escudo coins were preferred as thus it is possible to store twice as much gold with the same cost of minting.

Specifically, the 4 escudos from Santiago 1788 is an extremely rare coin. Only 1.020 pieces were minted and very few are now known to exist.


There have never been many 4 escudo coin collectors. In the last few years, it seems that most of them disappeared or focussed their attention in other coins. Hence, we see that very rare specimens of 4 escudo coins are not sold in public auctions. Even those that can potentially be more commercial, such as the ones depicting the “rate nose” bust.
Heritage offered the specimen that is now in the auction for $4.000 last January. It was not sold. I consider that $4.000 is a reasonable hammer price for this coin. But nowadays 4 escudos are not in fashion, so it is unlikely for this specimen to reach that price.

Description from the seller

4 Escudos. 1788/6. SANTIAGO. D.A. 13,45 grs. Restos de brillo original. (Rayitas de ajuste y hojita saltada en anverso, anterior a la acuñación). RARÍSIMA. Cal-398 var. MBC+.



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