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Cuba (struck at the Philadelphia mint), specimen 20 pesos, 1915, unique, NGC SP 63, finest and only

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / World Coins - Gold Start Price:16,000.00 USD Estimated At:20,000.00 - 40,000.00 USD
Cuba (struck at the Philadelphia mint), specimen 20 pesos, 1915, unique, NGC SP 63, finest and only
SOLD
110,000.00USDto Popeye13+ (20,900.00) buyer's premium. + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2018 Nov 02 @ 11:28UTC-4 : AST/EDT
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Cuba (struck at the Philadelphia mint), specimen 20 pesos, 1915, unique, NGC SP 63, finest and only known in NGC and PCGS censuses. KM-21; Fr-1. Struck on a special planchet with higher rims and smoother fields, the resulting (prooflike) luster a treat to behold, perhaps missing a higher NGC grade for a couple tiny rim-nicks on the reverse but at least recognized for its specimen status. NGC #4499455-006.

The Republic of Cuba issued its first gold coins in 1915, designed by the famous U.S. engraver Charles Barber and struck at the Philadelphia mint in the denominations of 1, 2, 4, 5, 10 and 20 pesos. It is no accident that the largest of these coins were created to be identical in size and weight and fineness to the U.S. gold coins made at the same time, namely $5 “half eagles,” $10 “eagles,” and $20 “double eagles,” with the stipulation that “those of 4, 2, and 1 peso shall be proportionate to the above in size and weight” (Article VII of the Act for the Coinage of Cuban Currency, approved October 26, 1914, from the 1915 Annual Report of the Director of the United States Mint). The design of these Cuban coins features the bust of José Martí to right on the obverse within legend PATRIA Y LIBERTAD and date, with a reverse showing the Cuban arms inside legend REPUBLICA DE CUBA and DIEZ PESOS. The 20-pesos coins show edge lettering CON TODOS Y PARA TODOS (“with all and for all”) and six stars, while the smaller denominations have reeded edges. The series continued only through the date 1916, and the 20 pesos of that year is only known in Proof (just ten minted).

A number of Proofs were produced for each denomination in different amounts. For the year 1915, it is believed that no more than 24-36 Proofs were made in the 20- and 10-pesos denominations, while the 5-, 4- and 2-pesos Proofs numbered about 100 each; the most plentiful was the 1-peso Proof, with a mintage of 140 pieces. These are rare, desirable and beautiful coins, and matched sets are highly desirable.

But there was another special production in 1915, examples of which are currently unique. These are the 1915 Specimen Strikes, presented for sale here for the first time. As Specimens, they were struck with more force, creating higher, squared rims and well-defined details, on specially finished planchets with polish lines and any imperfections (like lint marks) clearly transferred. The fields are similar to Proof but with much more definition and a semi-matte appearance. Most likely these were the first strikes off the new dies for 1915, and as such, along with their distinction from Proof or Mint State specimens, these unique pieces are highly important to the advanced collector of Cuban coins.