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!
This silver "Piece of Eight" bears the Pillars and Waves design. This type is one of the most detailed and beautiful coins produced in the Spanish colonies, as the design actually tells the story of the “New World.” Read about this design below!
Robert's Notes: The joy of this type of Real is the depth and detail of the strike. Thick and strongly angled, each detail is highlighted in the gleam of silver. And, most of the coins in this collection, like this one, were barely circulated before they were buried!
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.