Crudely shaped and hand-hammered, these silver pieces of history are some of the most intriguing and beautiful coins ever minted. And because each coin was minted by hand, they are one of a kind. Unlike a machine minted coin, it is impossible for anyone else to posses a coin exactly like yours!
Virtually uncirculated, these silver Spanish cob coins were minted in Potosi, Peru (present day Bolivia) from the late 1500s through 1773 and buried not long after they were minted. Buried in the highly mineralized desert soil above 10,000 feet, locals searched the desolate rural lands on moon-less nights in decades past, in search of eerie glowing lights that hover near the ground. Known in South and Central American lore as Luces del Tesoro, or Luces del Denero ("Money Lights"), they would dig where these lights occurred and discovered coin caches.
A Note on the Pillars and Waves Design: While each coin does not have every detail, the most striking feature is the two upright “pillars” which represent the Pillars of Hercules; the waves below, the Atlantic Ocean. Starting in the 10 o’clock position there is a “P” for Potosi, next is a number for the denomination. Next is the assayer’s initial. The two or three numerals above the center wave are the date. Through the center runs the phrase PLV SVL TRA – “Plus Ultra” – More Beyond the Pillars of Hercules. On the reverse is the crusaders cross, with lions and castles in the four quadrants representing the early Spanish kingdoms of Leon and Castile. Coins minted in the 1700s will have three digits, i.e. 737 for 1737.
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