Peru Silver Sol Coins

Posted by on November 5, 2012
SC PERU 1916 1 Sol silver obverse Peru Silver Sol Coins

1916 Peru 1 Silver Sol - obverse

Peru’s One Sol Silver Coins were minted in 1864 through 1935 and can be separated into three Types.  Type I contains 90% silver was issued from 1864 to 1916 they weigh (24.8) (24.78) 25.000 grams (0.80 troy ounces) and has a total silver content of 0.7234 troy ounces.  Then Peru changed the content to 50% silver and contain 0.4019 troy ounces of silver.   Type II was only minted in 1922 and 1923 and has no indication of fineness.  Type III came out in 1923 and continued through 1935 when silver was dropped from all of Peru’s circulating coin.  All of Peru's one sol silver coins are 37.2 millimeters in diameter and 2.8 millimeters thick.  They have reeded edges and are sometimes refer to as “crown size”.

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SC PERU 1916 1 Sol silver reverse Peru Silver Sol Coins

1916 Peru 1 Silver Sol - reverse

Peru’s silver coins include the assayer’s initials on them.  This was a practice that the Spanish had established and carried over after Peru became independent.  There are several assayer marks over the decades.  These are usually found on the obverse right after the legend indicating the purity of the silver.  The various assayer marks are: “Y.B.”, “Y.L.”, “L.D.”, “B.F.”, “F.N.”, “B.D.”, “R.D.”, “T.D.”, “T.F.”, “B.R.”, “F.”, “J.F.”, and “F.G.”.  Peru also minted ½ Sol silver coins first in 1864 with the 90% silver content weighing 12.5000g containing a total of 0.3617 troy ounces of silver.  Then 50% silver half sol coins were struck from 1922 until 1935 and weigh 12.5000 grams (0.40 troy ounces) with a total of 0.20 troy ounces of silver.  These are 30.00 millimeters in diameter.

SC PERU 1908 Lima 1 2 Silver Sol obverse 278x300 Peru Silver Sol Coins

1908 Lima 1/2 Silver Sol - obverse

The obverse has Liberty (Libertad) seated facing right much like the US “Seated Liberty”.  Her right hand is resting on a shield that has Peru’s traditional sun with rays on it and her left hand holds a staff with a liberty cap on it.  There is a partial column on the right with a laurel wreath on it and a ribbon reading “LIBER” and continues with “TAD”.  The legends is along the upper two thirds of the coins’ rim “FIRMEY FELTS” on the right and “POR LA UNION” which translates to “Steady and happy for the union”.  At the base is the denomination: “UN SOL”, “1/2 SOL”, and 1/5 “SOL”.

SC PERU 1908 Lima 1 2 Silver Sol reverse 285x300 Peru Silver Sol Coins

1908 Lima 1/2 Silver Sol - reverse

The reverses have Peru’s coat of arms in the center with a laurel wreath above it and a wreath around it.  The date is under the wreath at the base of the coin and the legend “REPUBLICA.PERUANA LIMA 9D:FINO” and followed by the assayer’s initials.  The silver sol coins that are 50% silver have “5D”, there are types with other ways of denoting the purity of the coin including the later “5 DECIMOS FINO”, and some years have no silver fineness indicated.

Peru also minted the 1/5 Sol which weighs 5 grams of 90% silver, it has a diameter of 23 millimeters and a thickness of 1.45 millimeters.  These were minted in 1863 through 1875.  They are 23 millimeters in diameter and 1.45 millimeters thick.  These are also 90% silver and weigh 5 grams containing 4.5 grams of silver.  In 1879 a nickel/copper 20 centavos was minted.  Then the silver 1/5 Sol continued to be sporadically from 1885 until 1917.  These have several assayers and some variations not seen on the other silver coins mentioned.  In 1880 a provisional 1 Peseta was minted with assayer “B.F.” assayer’s mark.  The peseta also weighs 5 grams and is 23 millimeters in diameter with a thickness of 1.9 millimeters.  One of the design differences with the Peseta is the use of Liberty’s head instead of the seated Liberty motif.

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