PMG Discovers New 1868 Variety for Rare “El Banco del Rio de la Plata” Issue

Posted on 7/16/2019

PMG has certified a newly discovered December 15, 1868-dated variety of a rare 5 Pesos Moneda Boliviana note.

El Banco del Rio de la Plata received its bank charter in 1867 in the city of Gualeguay (located about 150 miles northwest of Buenos Aires in the Entre Rios Province of Argentina), and began issuing banknotes in 1868. The bank had a short lifespan, closing in 1870 due to widespread financial problems across Argentina.

All the known issues of El Banco del Rio de la Plata are uniface, dated 1868, and denominated in Reales or Pesos Plata (silver) Boliviana – except for Pick# S1848, a 5 Pesos issue denominated in Moneda Boliviana. Pick# S1848 represents the final issue of the bank before it ceased operations.

Both “Standard Catalog of Word Paper Money, Specialized Issues” (Argentina S1848) and “The Paper Money of Argentina, A Window to History 1816-1899” by Robert J. Bauman (ENR-149) list the date of issue of the 5 Pesos note as January 9, 1869, and both catalogs illustrate the same plate note picture with serial number 003876.

Front side of a January 9, 1869, hand-dated
El Banco del Rio de la Plata 5 Pesos Moneda Boliviana.
SCWPM S1848 Plate note and The Paper Money of Argentina ENR-149 Plate note.
Image courtesy of Robert Bauman.
Click image to enlarge.

Back side of a January 9, 1869, hand-dated
El Banco del Rio de la Plata 5 Pesos Moneda Boliviana.
SCWPM S1848 Plate note and The Paper Money of Argentina ENR-149 Plate note.
Image courtesy of Robert Bauman.
Click image to enlarge.

PMG recently identified and authenticated a newly discovered December 15, 1868-dated variety of this rare 5 Pesos Moneda Boliviana note. The note is lithographically printed on dark blue colored paper with black writing on red-brown underprint. The printing was done by the San Martin lithographic printing company based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Front side of a December 15, 1868, hand-dated
El Banco del Rio de la Plata 5 Pesos Moneda Boliviana.
This newly discovered note expands the date range
of Pick# S1848 (ENR-149) to 1868-1869.
Click image to enlarge.

Robert Bauman classifies this issue as having an R-6 rarity rating, meaning there are just 6 to 10 notes known. With such a small population size available for study, it is perhaps not surprising that an 1868-dated note was unknown until this example was submitted to PMG. It is evident from the low 000157 serial number of the discovery note that a small number of these notes were first issued with a December 1868 date, and then transitioned to a January 1869 date. Notably, the hand-signed signatures and date style of the 1868-dated note are consistent with that of the known 1869-dated note.

Forming a complete collection of every note variety issued by El Banco del Rio de la Plata (Pick# S1831-S1848) would be challenging to say the least, but collectible examples of the Reales-denominated notes and the lower 1 to 2 Pesos-denominated notes can still be found for sale in the $100 to $500 range.


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