Simon Bolivar was leading a War of Independence for the South American colonies of Spain. Caracas and its surrounding province, the national capital of Venezuela, fell to Bolivar in 1821. Before that, Royalists (those loyal to Spain) issued coinage in Caracas in 1/8, 1/4, 1, 2, and 4 reales denominations. These are the copper 1/8 and 1/4 real.
These coins are highly collectible and collectors will pay handsome sums for nice-looking specimens. The one in our main picture comes from Jean Elsen & ses Fils in Brussels, where it sold for 190 euros (about $260 US dollars) during a 2014 auction. CoinQuest thanks Jean for us of his coin photo. It is a wonderful specimen.
Catalog values are shown below. The 1/8 real is heavily counterfeited, so be careful. Always deal with people you know and trust when it comes to rare and valuable coins.
worn: $300 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $2000
well preserved: $5000
1/8 real coins dated 1818 are much more common and catalog for about 1/10 of these prices
1/8 real coins dated 1804 and 1817 are more rare and catalog at about three times these values
worn: $8 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $50
well preserved: $150
1/4 real coins dated before 1806 are more valuable, cataloging near $3000 in average circulated condition
The value of these coins varies widely with condition, sharpness of strike, and percent off-center. If you have a coin with decent eye appeal, take it to a knowledgeable collector or professional coin dealer for an in-person appraisal.
The photo of the 1/8 real comes from Heritage Auctions. As always, we thank Heritage for supporting our efforts at CoinQuest. The 1/8 real sold for $350 US dollars in a 2005 auction. It is worth quite a bit more than that today.