Heart-shaped coins fetch £35,000


04 January 2024
The recent Daniel Frank Sedwick sale featured 'heart-shaped cobs' from Bolivia, said to represent the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ and worn or displayed in a religious setting.

The Daniel Frank Sedwick sale on 2–3 November was one of their specialist Treasure Auctions.

From Potosi in Bolivia, the auction included a heart-shaped cob of 8 reales from 1736 (lot 857).

The heart-shaped cobs, the rarest and most highly sought Potosi cobs, were intentionally shaped at the mint and struck with Royal dies, presumably to be worn or displayed in a religious setting, with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ an important symbol in the Catholic Church.

Read more auction updates, price guides, and collecting advice in every issue of Coin Collector
Find out more and subscribe to the popular magazine today!

With few exceptions, they were unique to the Potosi mint and struck in all denominations except the ¼ reales, beginning in the late 1680s and issued sporadically until the 1750s. The most desirable hearts are the 8 reales, of which only 42 examples exist from 17 dates.

Content continues after advertisements

Occasionally, as in the case here, a new date is discovered. The shape of this example was somewhat atypical to the normal style, but toward the end of their production, the shape of the heart was more flexible. With a well-centred strike and smooth, even surfaces, it appeared to have a contemporaneous clip on one of the ‘shoulders’ and the stem at the top had the customary hole.

Its hammer price of $45,000 was near the top of its $25,000–$50,000 estimate.

SOLD FOR £35,645