The E-Sylum:  Volume 7, Number 17, April 25, 2004, Article 7


  Alan Luedeking writes: "During the first ANUCA (Central
  American Numismatic Association) Numismatic Congress
  held in San José, Costa Rica in 2002, I received a request from
  Mr. Carlos Iza Terán, the curator of the numismatic collections
  of the Central Bank of Ecuador, to find proof that would
  discredit the Ecuadorean 50 Francos gold coin of 1862 as a
  modern fake. This coin was stolen from the collection of the
  Central Bank of Ecuador in 1994 and remains missing to this
  day. Mr. Iza based his suspicions about this coin on the
  apparent contradiction of a gold coin in the Francos
  denomination being struck concurrently with silver issues in
  the Reales denominations.   I said I would be pleased to help
  if I could, and immediately  turned to my friend Carlos Jara.
  At that time, all he could say  about the coin was that its first
  auction appearance was in the Schulman/Kreisberg Golden
  Sale of the Century auction in  1962, and that it was either
  unique or extremely rare.

  I then searched for a more specialized expert opinion before
  making any final judgment on the matter. Fortunately, the two
  greatest authorities on the numismatics of Ecuador, Michael
  Anderson and Dale Seppa, enthusiastically acceded. Dale and
  Michael are the experts on Ecuadorean coinage, and a result
  of their years of research on that topic is the definitive reference
  work "A Numismatic History of Ecuador", authored by
  Anderson and published in 2001. Their curiosity was aroused
  by my request, since they had worked on the 1862
  Ecuadorean coinage issue for a long time, without conclusively
  solving its mysteries themselves.

  During Michael and Dale's investigations, the profoundly
  knowledgeable numismatist Alfred Buonaguro had assisted
  them. As a result of all this past work, Carlos and I were
  instantly provided with practically all the extant numismatic
  knowledge concerning the coinage of 1862. Although their
  collective opinion was that the 50 Francos was a genuine coin,
  the previously cited authorities also agreed that the current
  knowledge of the 1862 coinage was then insufficient to fully
  explain the mystery of an apparently simultaneous issue of coins
  from two different monetary standards; many questions were
  still left unanswered, and some obscure points in the documents
  and decrees relating to the coins still remained.

  Through the internet, a fine numismatic team was formed and
  the effort to find the proof that would discredit the Ecuadorean
  50 Francos gold coin of 1862 as a modern fake continued.
  In the process, enormous amounts of historical documentation
  (mostly supplied by Dale Seppa) was read and carefully
  analyzed by Carlos Jara. Although the conclusions reached from
  the research eventually ended with the refutation of our friend
  Iza Terán's suspicions concerning the 1862 50 Francos, all of
  the other mysteries surrounding the coinage of this period were
 also cleared up.

  I am now very pleased to announce the result of this collaborative
  effort.  It is Carlos Jara's fourth great numismatic book, his first
  outside the realm of Chilean numismatics, entitled "The Strange
  Concurrence of Coinage in Francos and Reales in Ecuador from
  1858 to 1862 and the Fabled Fifty Francos of 1862." In Carlos'
  prologue to the book he writes "this research has been one of my
  most gratifying numismatic ventures. I feel privileged to have
  provided, in a joint effort with the authorities on Ecuadorean
  numismatics, what they consider a worthy contribution, and, most
  of all, to call them my new friends.  I respectfully dedicate this
  work to them, and again thank them for their generous and highly
  skilled assistance."

  As usual, anybody interested in obtaining a copy of this book
  (a limited edition, profusely illustrated hardcover) is invited to
  contact the author directly at clejara at

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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