Guatemala. 20 Pesos, 1878 F. Fr-44; KM-199. 32.18 grams. Wreathed head of Liberty left, with flowing hair. Reverse: Quetzal atop scroll, crossed arms with wreath around. Excellent strike, with bright, lustrous fields. Little actual wear, but handling marks apparent on obverse. Rare two year issue. Especially rare in this state of preservation – one of the finest known. NGC graded MS-61. The Quetzal bird pictured here is the national bird of Guatemala. Its colorful plumage causes many to call this bird the most beautiful in all of the New World. It was sacred to the Mayans as well, and legend has it that when the Spanish conquistador, Alvarado, killed the Mayan chieftain, Tecum Uman, the accompanying Quetzal fell silent and plummeted to Earth, covereing the chieftain with its plumage, and maintained a death watch all night.
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