If you've every wondered just what a "Piece of Eight" really is, and why Pirates dedicated their lives to pillaging them at all costs, view on!
Hello there, it’s Robert Knecht of Cannon Beach treasure Company and today we are going to talk about Pieces of Eight and the coins of pirate lore. What we have here, are very crudely minted silver coins. Everybody always asks, “What’s a Piece of Eight?” That is a good question! First of all, if you were a pirate, you knew what a Piece of 8 was. A Piece of 8, is a Spanish eight real (reale); when you think of an eight Reale think of one dollar. Four Reale: 50 cents; and smaller denominations breaking down from there.
The 8 Reale was the standard currency of the day throughout the world. For 300 years it was produced by Spain. The king of Spain did not care about the shape of the coin. All he cared about was the weight and the purity. Hence, their very crude shapes here. This particular one was recovered by myself; I recovered it off the 1715 Fleet off of Vero Beach, Florida and this one was recovered by my old treasure diving buddy Captain Carl Fismer off of the Concepción off of the Dominican Republic.
For 300 years, Spain produced 80% of the silver and 70% of the gold in the world. 95% of Europe’s economy was dependent on these coins for the trade that they did with the each other and the Far East. Stay tuned for some more fun videos coming up, with more details about Pieces of Eight and how they actually turned into and became our US dollar.
Hey there, Robert, here at Cannon Beach Treasure Company’s in gallery jewelry studio. I am going to give you a quick tour through how we make beautiful pieces of jewelry out of your treasure.
First, it starts out with just a piece of silver. Then, we take the coin and we figure out which size and piece of silver we want to use with it. Then, we form it around the coin so that in the end, it wraps around the coin just like this.
We want the coin to sit in there firmly so that it doesn’t move around the frame and the bezel should not damage the coin at all. After several hours of working with this, then we put the prongs on it and make it into a piece of jewelry.
This one is almost all the way finished. I’ve got a little bit more work to do - you can see on this side it has a nice polished edge and this side is not quite there yet so I am using my flexshaft to do that.
In the end, what we wind up with is a beautiful bezeled coin. This particular coin is off the 1715 fleet, has an emerald on it, 18 carat gold accents on there, and that’s what we do here at Cannon Beach Treasure Company.
Please feel free to visit us at CannonBeachTreasure.com to see all of these treasures we conserve. and we even recover some of them.
See you there. If you have any questions, give us a call. We are always here at our flagship store in Cannon Beach, Oregon.