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Bolivia Royal Cob Silver Coinage (Fakes are possible)  1630 to 1750
Bolivia Royal Cob Silver Coinage (Fakes are possible) 1630 to 1750

There are two main types of these fascinating collectibles: cob coins and milled coins. Cobs are rather crude-looking chunks of precious metal, stamped with a rough pattern to identify type and weight. Milled coins come later, after minting technology improved and are round and much better defined. There is a third category, or really sub-category of cobs, called royal cobs.

Royal cobs were made for royalty. The are round, or almost round, and their patterns are well defined for the era. They were hammered out like cobs, but the material, technique, and equipment were special. Royal cobs are rare. Most coin catalogs do not offer prices for them because they are bought and sold only occasionally. Our requester, Phil, has a royal 8 reales cob from Bolivia. It is a valuable coin.

The example in our main picture (upper right) comes from Stack's Bowers where it sold for $2400 in a 2014 auction. If the hole were not present, the price would have probably been $5000. Most royal cobs have holes.

CoinQuest thanks Stack's Bowers for use of their coin photo.

Royal cobs from Bolivia date back as far as 1630 and continue until 1773. Not surprising, earlier coins are worth more than later coins, although the primary source of value is state of preservation, lack of damage, and overall eye appeal. You can date these coins by the Spanish ruler:

Philip IV 1621 to 1665
Charles II 1665 to 1700
Philip V 1700 to 1746
Fernando VI 1746 to 1759
Carlos III 1759 to 1788

As always for valuable coins, counterfeits must be dealt with. Well-known numismatist Daniel Sedwick, who specializes in coins like this, has compiled a useful page on fake cobs [Press Here], which includes royal cobs. Check this page if you think you may have a counterfeit piece. Counterfeits are worth zero. We thank Mr. Sedwick for use of his coin photos.

As to value, we can only supply general results. Even the professional databases of auction results have very few royal cobs, so our listings below are very, very approximate. Double these values if your coin has no hole.

1, 2, AND 4 REALES BEFORE 1700
worn: $1200 US dollars approximate catalog value
well preserved: $3000

1, 2, AND 4 REALES AFTER 1700
worn: $1000 US dollars approximate catalog value
well preserved: $2400

8 REALES BEFORE 1700
worn: $1200 US dollars approximate catalog value
well preserved: $4000

8 REALES AFTER 1700
worn: $1000 US dollars approximate catalog value
well preserved: $3200

Again, these are very approximate values. Each coin stands on its own merits. Actual buy and sell prices can easily vary by a factor of two or more.

Coin: 17878 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: Phil Binfield, Sat, 20-Sep-2014 00:33:53 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sat, 20-Sep-2014 05:21:13 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Wed, 07-Jun-2017 02:04:08 GMT
Requester description: Patterns are waves under the pillars, and dots in a circle.
no real patterns on other side other than dots in a citcle.
Tags: bolivia royal cob silver fakes counterfeit boliviano boulivia boliviana bolivariana bolivianos bolivian royale royalty cobb cobs cobbs feinsilber sliver siver argent silber silverish silb replica forger counterfet fake counterfiet reproductions repro reproduction counterfeits replicas forgery waves wave pillars column dots dot circle real reales waving waive wavy wavey piller columns upright pillar beaded period dotted beading beads point periods points bead circled encircle circlet ring circles loops circal encircled circuit ringed circumscibed incircled circel circumference encircles encircling rings circling loop circular circumscribed reale

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Sat, 19-Aug-2017 18:49:28 GMT, unknown: 21077139