About Carlos Jara

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So far Carlos Jara has created 4 blog entries.

In Memory of Benjamin Bell

March 8, 1976 - April 10, 2017   Memories of a good friend ... I recently moved to Arizona to work full time at World Numismatics' headquarters. These past few weeks have been very exciting for us yet that joy has been clouded by the recent passing of our colleague Benjamin Bell. Ben passed away on Monday, April 10, after a long, hard fought battle with cancer, his loving family at his side. Well educated in traditional historic studies, Ben worked as a numismatist at Classical Numismatic Group and was the co-founder, co-owner and President of Civitas Galleries, Ltd. In a world where many numismatists have grudges against one or more of their colleagues, Ben was one of only a very few loved and respected by everyone, and was duly considered one of the rising stars in professional numismatics. By our great many conversations, I can attest to his deep love of coins, extensive knowledge and impeccable work ethics. He was snatched far too soon from the coin world, and will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, Rob and Rebecca and his sister Rachel. ~ Carlos Jara

By | 2017-06-12T19:54:46+00:00 June 10th, 2017|News|Comments Off on In Memory of Benjamin Bell

Collecting Central American Republic

Collecting Central American Republic By Carlos Jara The Central American Republic, also referred to as the Central American Federation, formed by the five countries of Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, and officially established in July 1, 1823 was a failure from the political point of view, with numerous conflicts and wars undermining its stability until its final demise in 1838. However, from a numismatic point of view, it issued what it universally acknowledged as one of the most beautiful designs among 19th Century world coinage. The rendition in the obverse of a rising sun (for the silver issues) or a radiant sun (for the gold issues) over a range of five volcanoes representing the five republics mentioned previously, with a Ceiba tree representing the tree of liberty with the motto “Libre Crezca Fecundo” (Grow free and fruitful) is truly a striking one, and a joy to behold on a high grade coin. Official issues were issued by three different mints: The Nueva Guatemala (NG mintmark) mint, issued coins with the CAR design between 1824 and 1851. All gold denominations (½, 1, 2, 4 and 8 Escudos), plus the ¼, ½, 1 and 8 Reales in silver were struck, although not all denominations or years exist. The Costa Rica (CR mintmark) issued four gold and five silver denominations ¼, ½, 1, 2 and 8 Reales between 1828 and 1850 (again, not all years/denominations exist. The smaller Tegucigalpa mint in Honduras (T mintmark) only produced ½ 1 and 2 Reales coins between 1830 and 1832. Since the initial master dies were all produced at the Guatemala mint for all of these three issues, they form a homogeneous and coherent group, which few people have attempted (and even fewer, naturally, have succeeded) to complete. This is a shame because [...]

By | 2017-07-11T16:29:24+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Library|Comments Off on Collecting Central American Republic

Collecting Guatemala

Collecting Guatemala By Carlos Jara Often overshadowed by the incredible richness of its Mexican neighbor, the numismatic series of each of the countries of the Central American Republic are nevertheless very interesting and rewarding to collect. We commented on the series of the Central American Republic in our previous newsletter, and will now present a general overview of the Guatemala Republican series. The bad news first. Quality references are few and far between, and difficult to obtain. The only attempts at a comprehensive work which encompasses the Guatemalan Republican series have been Kurt Prober’s “Historia Numismatica de Guatemala” (Spanish Edition, 1957 or 1973, still the reference!), Robinson’s The Coins of Guatemala (1964,) Holland Wallace’s fine effort “Central American Coinage since 1821” (1966, probably the most useful for the English only reader) and Siliezar’s “Catalogo-Monedas y Medallas de Proclama-Centro America y Panama- 1733 a 1976” (1976, Guatemala). The fact is most collectors now rely on the Krause catalog, which is a good starting point but fails to grasp the numerous intricacies of the series. Following the demise of the Central American Republic, the proclamation of Guatemala as an independent Republic occurred on March 21, 1847. The event was celebrated by issuing a beautiful (and now scarce) 1847 1 Real medal. As mentioned in our past newsletter, Guatemala issued coins with the Central American Republic design until 1851. By looking at the numerous trial strikes, patterns (such as the 1851 8 Reales with the Central American Republic design), and medallic coins (such as the very rare 1852 medallic Peso issued on the inauguration as Rafael Carrera in his 2nd term as President), issued between 1851 and 1854, one can sense that the Guatemalan authorities were still finding their stride in order to achieve an independent coinage design. The “Columbus bust” design [...]

By | 2017-07-11T16:35:10+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Library|Comments Off on Collecting Guatemala

Succinct History of Cobs

Succinct History of Cobs By Carlos Jara Spanish colonial cob coinage is among the most popular series of the New World and contains many of the legendary coins herein. Cob coins were effectively the first coins minted in the Americas by the Spanish conquering authorities and issued by various mints for a period that encompassed more than 200 years starting in 1536 when the Mexico City mint issued its first coins. The cob coinage characteristics While the first specimens of the Mexico City, Lima and Potosi mint are rather carefully struck on very roundish planchets – and thus sometimes not even considered as “proper” cobs – the quality of the coins of all these mints soon started deteriorating as can be seen through the examples depicted below (note that the coins struck at the Cartagena and Santa Fe mints in Colombia were always cruder than those of other contemporary mints while the short-lived Santo Domingo and Panama mints, both already inactive by 1600, do not span a long enough period to illustrate the aforementioned fact of progressively deteriorating coins). The later, irregularly shaped coins are the ones normally associated with the cob designation and their method of manufacture is often considered to be at the origin of the “cob” name: slices were cut from the end of a silver or gold bar (refined to the proper fineness) and then adjusted to the prescribed proper weight by hand cutting with scissors or chisels. The obtained planchet was then placed on a fixed die to impress the design by hand blows inflicted over the upper mobile die. Multiple strikings are a common occurrence in the series and most often seen in the highest denominations which is logical since larger planchets necessitated stronger and often multiple blows to obtain the desired impression. [...]

By | 2017-07-11T17:06:05+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Library|Comments Off on Succinct History of Cobs