Carolus III Dei Gratia| Hispan(ia) et Ind(ies) Rex. Om. 8R. F.M.

Ocho reales, or Piece of Eight Spanish trade dollar with Chinese chop marks. The real was an ancient coin of the Spanish Empire, first authorized by King Ferdinand and Queen Ysabel in 1497: "Item, WE order and command that in each of our mints, other silver coins be struck and be called Reales. These shall be sixty seven Reales to the Mark, and not less. The fineness shall be eleven dineros and four grains, and not less; and that from these should be struck Reales and Half Reales and Quarter Reales and Eighth Reales which should be weighed one by one so that they shall be equal in weight; and that from the silver be struck one third in Reales, one third in Half Reales and the rest in Quarter Reales and Eighth Reales by half part ... " This works out to 3.5 grams at 93.055% fineness of silver, a quality higher than sterling. Spanish reales were used in the Pacific trade to Asia, especially in the Phillipines and China. This coin, in fact, has Chinese chop marks, clearly showing is worldwide circulation, on the obverse. Obsverse has the portrait of King Carlos III, the reverse the arms of the kingdom with the colums of Hercules and the motto, Ultra Plus.(there's more beyond). Coin is dated 1775. The coins were in high demand, especially in China, as their purity was highly regarded. During colonial days in the U.S., the silver Ocho Reales coin, referred to as the Spanish milled dollar, was the principal coin in circulation. This coin and its fractional parts, the half, one, two, and four reales, were legal currency until February 21, 1857 in the U.S., 1858 in Canada, and 1895 in Puerto Rico. The Ocho Reales were the "Pieces of Eight," from which the U.S. South and West derived the slang "two-bits" meaning a quarter dollar, four-bits a half-dollar, and eight-bits a dollar. PCK

Used: trade

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