Rodrigo de O. L.'s Blog

13 Aug 2014

Some Potosi Proclamation Medals

Medals | Rodrigo de O. L.

An area of numismatics that I find quite interesting is the area of medals. Of course coins are an art form, but medals motto should be “ars gratia artis”, because coins had a purpose: to be used for exchange, and they should be cost-effective. With medals it’s different, since the purpose of medals is to remember something or someone, an artist has much more creative freedom when designing a medal than when designing a coin.

And when a medal is also a type of coin? It’s even more interesting! The Potosi Proclamation Medals were almost always minted to celebrate the “glory” of the dictator that was ruling Bolivia in that period. They were minted following the same pattern used when minting coins, so the proclamation medals were often used as money.

The four medals bellow were acquired by me in a Brazilian Numismatic Association auction (past July 11th, lot 62), and they came from a widow that sold silver at spot price with a little premium. Among the things that came from the lot were some coins from Potosi, Santiago and Brazil, and they were all holed. I imagine that they were used in some kind of jewelry, and that’s a shame. 

Medal #1
Diameter: 20 mm / Weight: 3.1 grams (equals to 1 Sol)
OBV: POTOSI AL REIENERADOR D BOLIVIA (Potosi to the regenarator of Bolivia)
REV: PRESIDENTE CONSTITUCIONAL EN 1840 (Constitutional President in 1840)

Diameter: 20 mm / Weight: 3.1 grams (equals to 1 Sol)
OBV: AL NATALICIO DEL JEFE SUPREMO . 1857 (To the Supreme Chief birthday 1857)
REV: RECUERDO DEL PUEBLO POTOSINO (A souvenir token from the people from Potosi)

Diameter: 26.5 mm / Weight: 6.7 grams (equals to 2 Soles)
OBV: AL SER SUPREMO QUE SALVO A BOLIVIA / EN 6. D STBRE DE 1850 (To the Supreme Being that saved Bolivia in Sept. 6th 1850)
REV: EL DEPARTAMENTO DE POTOSI 1852 (The Potosi Department 1852)

Diameter: 18 mm / Weight: 2.3 grams (an eight of a Melgarejo)



Level 1

Very nice coins!!! I do collect Bolivian coins and some proclamó coins..

Pliny The Elder

Level 5

I like your blog and the photos too. Cheer up, the holes are proof of the people who owned and used these items before you. Makes them even more special if you ask me.


Level 5

Very nice. History at its finest!


Level 6

Very cool! I like Medal #2.


Level 5

Fascinating! I really like Medal #3.

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