The Spanish 1/2 Reale - The Coins of Pirate Legend and Lore
These museum quality castings are of Spanish ½ reales minted in Potosi, Upper Peru (present day Bolivia) by a man named Juan de Ballesteros Narvaez who was in charge of the mint between 1576 and 1615. Many coins recovered from the famed Spanish galleon Atocha, discovered in 1985 by Mel Fisher and his crew, were minted by the same man.
It took 16 ½ reales to equal the weight of an 8 reale, or “piece of eight.” This coin denomination was used to pay small debts. Since these coins were so small and used on a daily basis, it is extremely hard to find one that is in this amazing condition.
If you were to board a pirate ship at the time this coin was in use, you would likely have found bags of them on board, but, sadly, the vast majority of them were lost, or melted down to make new coins.
The Potosi 1/2 Reale Coin Earrings
Size: 5/8" Across, 1 1/2" Drop
- Metal: Shipwreck Silver -click here to learn more about our blend of 4 shipwreck's silver treasure that is in this pendant
Denomination: ½ reale
Reign: Philip II (1556-1598) or Philip III (1598-1621)
Assayer: “B” Juan de Ballesteros Narvaez
Date: circa 1590s early 1600s
Reverse: The Cross of Jerusalem with two lions and castles. The lions and castles that sit in the four quadrants of the cross represent the two Christian kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, Leon and Castile, that united in the 13thcentury and reclaimed Spain from the Moors, who had conquered the region in 711 AD.
Obverse: Kings’ monogram
These coin earrings are cast with our exclusive blend of shipwreck silver from four shipwrecks: Atocha - 1622, the 1715 Fleet, Le Chameu - 1725 and Santa Leocadia - 1800. To read about how we blend our authentic shipwreck silver, where the treasure came from, and the history of these shipwrecks, check out Robert's Blog "Shipwreck Silver - the Story Behind the Story."
Of Special Note: Our exclusive Empires Collection features Museum-Quality Castings that are produced by hand, in the USA, and to exacting standards, creating jewelry pieces that are amazingly faithful to the original artifact. Each is hand-finished here in the studio - toned, hand-rubbed and polished - making the best of ancient art affordable and wearable for a life-time.
Your Empires Collection Earrings Comes Complete with:
- A Detailed, Two Page Historic Brief Researched and Written by Robert Lewis Knecht
- A Linen Gift Pouch
- A Treasure Jewelry Care Card