Samantha sent us this picture of her nice 8 escudos gold coin from Colombia. It looks to be a genuine piece, which is good. Counterfeit coins abound in today's market, so it is always a good idea to have your coins authenticated by viable sources (e.g., PCGS, NGC, ANACS, ICG, look them up on the Internet, do not use other services).
Sam's coin is from the Bogota mint. Other specimens, minted at Popayan, say so explicitly.
The size and gold content of these coins vary with denomination, as follows:
1 escudo: 18 mm diameter, 0.0952 troy ounces of gold
2 escudos: 21 mm diameter, 0.1904 ounces of gold
4 escudos: 28 mm diameter, 0.3808 ounces
8 escudos: 37 mm diameter, 0.7617 ounces
DO NOT CLEAN YOUR COIN, SAMANTHA! CLEANING RUINS VALUE.
At today's gold market hitting $1420 US dollars per troy ounce, Sam's 0.7617 ounces of gold in her 8 escudos coin is worth 0.7617 x 1420 = $1082 basic value. Use a web site such as kitco.com to get up-to-the-minute gold prices. They change every day.
But this coin is worth more than just gold value to collectors. To the base value of the coin, Samantha should add about $300 for collector premium. All together, this coin should retail at about $1300. If Samantha were selling her coin to a coin dealer, he or she would not pay full retail price. Samantha's coin would probably fetch $800 from a reputable dealer. A shyster would offer Samantha about $200 and tell her that these coins are very common, that her coin has a lot of wear, and that the market for these coins in in the dumpster. Hogwash!
Here are approximate collector premiums, over and above the basic gold value, for coins in average circulated condition:
1 escudo: $100
2 escudos: $200
4 escudos: N/A
8 escudos: $300
The collector premium will double for coins in almost uncirculated condition. It will cut in half for heavily worn coins.
4 escudo coins were minted only in 1826 and are very rare. Their value (gold + premium) is at least $2000 and often more, depending on condition. Beware of fakes!
There is also one more twist for 8 escudo pieces: a few of them carry extra collector premium due to rare dates and mint marks. Most of them are like Samantha's 1833RS coin, and the values cited above apply. But, if you have one of the dates and mint marks which follow, upgrade your $300 collector premium to at least $500, maybe more if your coin is very attractive and has good eye appeal:
The mint mark appears on the side without the portrait along the edge in the 4 o'clock position.