Obverse. Photo © Heritage Auctions
  • 5 Centavos 1893-1919, KM# 173, Bolivia
  • 5 Centavos 1893-1919, KM# 173, Bolivia

The coat of arms of Bolivia.

The central cartouche has a border with nine stars in the bottom, which symbolize the nine Departamentos. Within the border the silver mountain Potosí — recognized by a mine entrance — is depicted, with Inti in form of a sun rising above it, and with an alpaca standing next to a palm tree and some wheat. The alpaca stands on a plain that contrasts with the mountain. The mountain and its contrast with the plains are indicative of the geography of Bolivia. The llama is the national animal, related to the alpaca and the items next to it are symbolic of the resources of the nation.



Caduceus above a wreath of 2 olive branches divides denomination, date below surrounded by the mint and privy marks.

Bottom-left cornucopia (the logo of the Paris Mint). Bottom-right the Chief Engraver's privy mark:
· fasces (Jean Lagrange, 1880-1896)
· torch (Henri-Auguste Patey, 1896-1930)

The caduceus is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology and consequently by Hermes Trismegistus in Greco-Egyptian mythology. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography, it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead, and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves. By extension of its association with Mercury and Hermes, the caduceus is also a recognized symbol of commerce and negotiation.

5 C


5 Centavos

KM# 173 Schön# 5
Material Cupronickel
Weight 2.5 g
Diameter 20 mm
Thickness 1.17 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Alt # KM# 173.1, KM# 173.2, KM# 173.3
Paris Mint (A)

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