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Ecuadorian Overdate coins

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Ecuadorian Overdate Coins.

        Whilst  Ecuadorian  numismatic  history  is short,  due  to  its  having begun   its  own  coinage  only  in  1/833,   it  does   have   an   extraordinary  variety  of  specimens  that  makes  it  very rich  and interesting  for  collectors.

      It  is  common to find  within  a  s ingle year some very apparent differences  which  make  each  coin  individual,  varieties  such  as  subtle changes  in  the  design  of the shield,  errors in the legend such  as inverted  or  altered  letters,  crude  minting,  overstrikes,  minting  errors etc.

     Amongst  the  varieties  of  overstruck  coins there exists a huge range of  pieces  with  overstruck  dates  which  enriches our  coinage.  We may note  that  with  very few exceptions most of the coins with overstruck dates  are  found  on  ½,  1  and  2  decimos  pieces  from  1891  to  1912. It is very puzzling that most of these coins appear only in these denominations, and even more puzzling that almost all of them relate solely to the mint of Lima. The overstruck dates do not occur in the mints of Birmingham  or  Philadelphia,  and  in  the  case of the mint of  Santiago  de Chile, Krause  World Coins records an overdate only on the ONE DECIMO coin 1889/1789,  which,  since  it  relates  to  an  8  over  7  in   the  hundreds  of  the  date,  is  clearly  dealing  with  the correction  of  a date  error.    The  overdated  piece  of  Santiago  de  Chile  is  very  scarce,  and  the  NGC  Census  reports  the  existence  of  only  one piece.

Fig. 1a.JPG

     It is worth mentioning that there exists no record of why these overdates occurred in the Lima Mint, but it had been standard practice on Peruvian coins since the earliest days of the Republic. It is believed that the motive was to optimize the cost of production of the dies. It is thought that the operating cost was less if larger quantities of dies were produced, so that the excess could be used in subsequent years, for which it was necessary only to correct the digits of the date with the year in which Ecuador requested a new supply of coinage. This theory is only a hypothesis of various experienced collectors, because as already mentioned there exists no kind of record which clarifies this mystery, which was very common in the Lima mint, and there is no other logical explanation which allows a second hypothesis.

      In  this  way,  by  checking   the  catalogues,   we   find    the  following coins   where   the   dates   were  overstruck  for  use  in  subsequent years:

  • 2 decimos 1889 TF Lima was overstruck for the years: 1892/89, 1893/89, 1894/89 and 1895/89
  • 1 decimo 1894 TF Lima was overstruck for the year 1899/4
  • ½ decimo 1893 TF Lima was overstruck for the year 1894/3
  • ½ decimo 1897 TF Lima was overstruck for the year 1899/7
  • ½ decimo 1902 JF Lima was overstruck for the year 1905/2 (There is no record of this in the NGC CENSUS or PCGS)

    There  also  exist  some  ½  decimo  coins  minted  in  Lima  with overstruck  dates  which  show  the  practice  of  preparing  dies  with  the last  one  or  two  figures  of  the date  left  blank,   but  which  still  needed to  be  overstruck  because  of  the  change  of  decade  or  century,  such as:

  • ½  decimo  JF  Lima  1899/87
  • ½ decimo JF Lima 1902/802 and 1902/892 (There is no record of 1902/892 in the NGC CENSUS and PCGS)
  • ½  decimo  JF  Lima  1905/805

Fig. 2a.jpg

      That  this  practice  of  overstriking  the  decade  and  century  on  dies where  the  final  digit  or  digits  were  left  blank  was  common  practice  in the  Lima  mint  is  evidenced  by  the existence  in  the  Peruvian  series  of ½  dinero  1900/890,  1901/801,  1901/891,  1902/802,   1902/892, 1903/803,  1903/893,  1904/894,  1905/805,  1  dinero  1900/890,  1902/892, 1903/893, sol  1890/80,  1891/81,  1892/82  and  many  more.

     We  should  mention  that  there  is  no  record  in  the  NGC  and  PGC Censuses  of  certain  coins  such  as  the  ½  decimos 1902/892 and 1905/2,  so there is no confirmation of the existence of these pieces, although   both   coins   are   reported   in   the   Krause   World   Coins  catalog.

     In  addition  to  the  overdated  decimal  coins,   there  exist  other  pieces known with the same type of error corresponding to the pre-decimal coinage, amongst which the following are recorded:

    SILVER                                                  GOLD

  • 2 Reales 1848/7 GJ                         8 Escudos 1849/7 GJ - Very rare
  • ½ Real 1833 - M over ½                  8 Escudos 1852/0 GJ
  • ¼ Real 1843/2 - Very rare                8 Escudos 1855/2 GJ


    All these pre-decimal overstruck pieces are confirmed to exist

    NGC  also  mentions  the  existence  of  an  overstruck  2  reales  1839/8 MV,   but there  still  exists  no  record  in  the  Census  so  we  are  unable to confirm its existence.

Fig. 3a.jpg


Xavier Alban Rubio.


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