The fact that Stocks used to trade in QUARTERS, & EIGHTHS, then SIXTEENTH$ goes all the way back to the Spanish 8 Reales.
America's First Dollar: The Spanish 8 Reales 1 oz Silver Coins ...
with Carolus ("Charles") III on the face, 1758-1788, Mexico City mint (mint mark: M) - preferably 1782 or earlier - or after 1784 - to avoid 1783 El Cazador junk. eg:
My interest in the Spanish 8 Reales 1 oz Silver Coin began when I saw a full-page ad in AMERICAN HISTORY magazine, winter / Jan-March 2010. It was also in The ROTARIAN, Popular Mechanics, & many rural electric co-op mags March 2010. I only wish I had responded THEN & gotten TWO for $150. Coin value guides say single one in very good to fine condition now goes for around $200+. All the coins offered from the shipwreck recovery in the ad were dated 1783, so odds are good a 1783 eight reales came from this same cache.
Here is the ad, titled, "American Revolution Silver Dollars Found" http://tinyurl.com/zf3r9fe
another location if above link does not work: http://digitaledition.qwinc.com/publication/?i=31614&p=33
Back then, the price of Spot Silver had just dove from $18 in January to $14.50 in March 2010 by the time this ad was seen.
Its interesting that after this ad appeared, silver began its huge run from $14.50 up to $49+ by May 2011, from which it has been retracing ever since.
As the ad says, a cache of these was recovered from a ship wreck (ie, subjected to salt water sand blasting for 200+ years, unless protected from the elements) so the odds are good that any of these 1983-dated coins around today came from this particular ship wreck, probably the EL CAZADOR. Most 1783 Eight Reales coins around now came from the EL CAZADOR, which sank off Louisiana in 1784. El Cazador sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 1784, with a large cache' of newly-minted 1783 Spanish silver coins, and a sprinkling of older dates. Carolus III reigned from 1759 to 1788. 1789 ff. has Carolus IV on the face, although there were some made in early 1789 with Carolus III on the face.
Web searches for "Spanish 8 Reales 1 oz Silver Coin" invariably lead to coins recovered from shipwrecks. Any of these coins that have NOT been on the ocean bottom for a couple centuries are extremely rare. The advertiser www.govmint.com has a few left, but they're not $75 each any more, even tho spot silver is now ( 1 Dec 2015) about what it was in March 2010 (near $14.50). http://www.govmint.com/world-coins/by-country-s-z/spain-coins.html
What do American history and the Constitution identify as the "dollar"?
"Reference to history clears away the confusion of present-day politics, by showing beyond cavil that the "dollar" is a specific coin, containing 371.25 grains (troy) of fine silver, and nothing else."
"The silver specie standard was widespread from the fall of the Byzantine Empire until the 19th century. Following the discovery in the 16th century of large deposits of silver at the Cerro Rico in Potosi, Bolivia, an international silver standard came into existence in conjunction with the Spanish pieces of eight. These silver dollar coins played the role of an international trading currency for nearly four hundred years." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_standard
Most notable in valuing a 1 oz 8 Reales silver coin: "A single silver dollar or “piece-of-eight” was considered acceptable pay for two week’s labor in the 17th century (1600s). One ounce of Silver = TWO WEEKS WAGES! Since Walmart announced its new minimum wage to be $9 per hour last week (today is 26 Feb 2015), consider: $9 x 40hrs/week = $360/wk x 2 = $720 per ounce if one ounce of silver still paid for two weeks of work. So, if there is a "Big Re-$et" of currency values, and if silver is re-valued to this historical precedent, from $17 it could gain by a factor of 42 (42 x $17 = $720, two weeks or 80 hours wages at $9/hr.)
The above valuation of one 8 Reales coin equal to TWO WEEKS wages is from: "Pieces of Eight" Spanish New World Treasure Coins March 25, 2010 at 6:54pm © 2010 by E. Lee Spence, a shipwreck treaure expert and underwater archeologist. https://www.facebook.com/notes/dr-e-lee-spence-underwater-archaeologist-shipwrecks-sunken-treasure/pieces-of-eight-spanish-new-world-treasure-coins/377034956485
Pieces of Eight
"One of the world’s most storied coins is the Spanish real (pronounced "ray-all"), which was Spain’s denomination at the height of the nation’s dominance as a world power in the 16th century. Silver eight-real coins were worth one Spanish dollar, and were the source of the phrase “pieces of eight,” which has been associated with pirates and ill-gotten treasure since 1883, when Robert Louis Stevenson put the phrase in the mouth of Long John Silver’s talkative parrot." - http://www.collectorsweekly.com/world-coins/spanish
See LINKS to Movies base on Robert Louis Stevenson's novel at bottom of this NOTE.
The first coinage of the New World and what comes to mind when we think of Pirate Treasure are pieces of eight. These first coins, often called cob coins, were made from roughly cut planchets (blanks) by striking them with hand dies. The word Cobb comes from a simplification of the Spanish phrase, Cabo de Barra, which translates as, from a bar. After the coins are struck, they are weighed by an assayer who cuts off any excess Silver which is why most coins have some of the impression cut away. Due to this method of manufacturer no two coins are alike and many are collected for their unique shapes alone. All the Spanish coins before 1732 were "cobb" coins of various shapes because corners were cut off until the weight was correct. Most of the coins shown in the next link in the margins of the photo are "cob" coins. http://www.treasurebook.net/coins.html
Spanish Colonial Silver Reales Coin Types - http://www.newworldtreasures.com/cointypes.htm
Pillar dollars of the first year of issue (1732) are extremely rare because almost ALL the coins minted in 1732 were on a treasure fleet sunk by a hurricane in 1733. Pillar dollars of the first year of issue (1732) are extremely rare and cause a great deal of excitement when they are offered for sale. There are modern copies of this famous coin that were apparently made privately for some commercial purpose. The French inscription gives them away (it translates as “Pillars of Hercules dollar” and refers to the design on the original coin that shows this device. It was a powerful image and symbolized exploration of the great unknown). http://coinsite.com/spanish-8-reales-milled-and-pillar-dollars
In 1715 & again in 1733 entire Spanish Treasure Fleets were sunk by hurricanes.
Most ship wreck coins are obliterated by sand in currents called "sea erosion." Many of the cobbed Spanish reales available today were recovered from that fleet by Mel Fisher and his company, Treasure Salvors, and other early treasure hunters of the period 1960 - 1990, as they salvaged the 1715 Spanish Fleet, off Florida's Eastern Coast, near the Sebastion Inlet. The salvaging of the 1715 fleet was documented for a major network: Season of Treasure on DVD is available here: http://www.nelsonshipwreckpirate.com/ShipwreckCoins.html
Pieces of Eight and Doubloons -- Reales and Escudos Chart of Monetary Worth http://pirates.hegewisch.net/money.html
Pillar Dollar and Bust Dollar
The crude Hand-struck process was replaced in 1732 with the screw press method. The screw press was a technological jump which produced coins of consistent quality and eliminated the irregular stamp pattern inherent to the hand-held dies. This new process, alo called "MILLING," produced near-perfect coins of the Pillar Dollar design and later the Bust Dollar of the late 1700's. These later coins were in common use in the United States at the time, and also in world commerce and although they are not as unique as cobb-coins, they still represent coins from the heyday of piracy. They had the reigning Spanish Monarch's image on the obverse side and the pillars of Hercules wrapped in ribbons on the reverse. This design is believed to be the origin of our dollar sign symbol. http://www.treasurebook.net/coins.html
The Spanish silver 8-reales "Piece of Eight" was the most valuable circulating coin in the New World and America's first silver dollar! Our Founding Fathers carried them in their pockets every day, and if the legend that George Washington threw a Silver Dollar over the Potomac is true, this is the dollar he tossed. The design is also quite intriguing and historical. The two pillars on the reverse represent the Pillars of Hercules off the coast of Spain, where the Atlantic and Mediterranean meet. The ribbons read PLUS and ULTRA, meaning "More Beyond." Look closely at the ribbon wrapping around the left pillar. This is the source of our dollar sign! Each is almost exactly the size and weight of a Morgan Silver Dollar, because, well, that Silver Dollar was modeled after this Silver Dollar!
The 8-Reales Pillar Dollar was the first Spanish MILLED coin which made for uniformity of manufacture and is why the 8-real became THE STANDARD or benchmark unit for the American colonies at the time of the revolution & the birth of the USA. The face which shows the bust of the reigning monarch, Charles III, is the obverse side, and the reverse two pillars are believed to be what inspired the "$" dollar sign used today which originally had two vertical lines through the letter "S" denoting the Spanish Pillar Dollar ("Dólar"). Because of the two columns or pillars, these are also called "pillar" coins.
The US monetary system has roots in Spanish reales, with 8 reales equivalent to one dollar, 4 reales to 50 cents, 2 reales 25 cents (two bits), one real 12.5 cents, and half real 6.25 cents. By the American Revolution, Spanish dollars gained significance because they backed paper money authorized by the individual colonies and the Continental Congress. Common in the Thirteen Colonies, Spanish dollars were even legal tender in one colony, Virginia.
Spanish Colonial Silver Reales Coin Types
Even though the Philippines were also Spanish, I can find no record of an erly colonial mint there. Q: Was there no gold or silver found there? The islands exist due to volcanoes, which are the source for PM ores. Or was all of Spain's precious metal (PM) in the New World?
The Spanish 8 Reales with Carolus (Charles) III was the silver dollar ("Dólar") coin in circulation at the time of the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence was on July 4, 1776. The Articles of Confederation were made in 1777. The coin pictured is 1779. The British surrendered at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. The Constitutional Convention was in 1787. That the Spanish Silver 8 Reales is the coin to which the Founders referred when they specified the definition of "one dollar" of "money" as "one ounce of silver" in the Constitution is proven by constitutional lawyer Edwin Vieira Jr. in his meticulously researched two-volume work, Pieces of Eight (see excerpts lower below).
pictured: Spanish Colonial 8 Reales 1779 F.F. Carolus III, Mexico City Mint
Diameter: 39 mm. Composition: 0.9030 Silver
"CHARLES III - BY GOD'S GRACE - 1779"
Identifying Marks: New world mint marks are shown here; see also re: assayers initials.
For the year 1779 there was one type of 8 Reales issued by the Mexico City Mint.
For the Portrait 8 Reales the practice at the mint was to identify the assayers by placing the senior assayer’s initial first and the junior assayer’s initial second when going around the coin clockwise using what we call “the first initial” in the United States of America. In 1779 the assayers were Francisco Antonio de la Pena y Flores (1762 into 1784) and Francisco Arance Cobos (1777 into 1803). The initials FF refer to these 2 assayers.
In the photo below, On rhe left side below, the MEXICO CITY mint mark is at 8:00 o'clock (M), then "8 R" for eight reales, then the Head assayer's initial (F), followed by apprentice assayer's initial (F) - see reverse photo of coin (below). On the right are the words, "HISPANIA ET IND REX" - literally, "KING OF SPAIN & THE INDIES"
A genuine silver piece of eight or 8 reales coin, minted in 1779 A.D. at the Mexico mint.
The obverse with the laureate, armoured and draped bust of King Charles III facing right. The legend reading:
CAROLUS IIII DEO GRATIA 1803 - "Charles IV by the Grace of God 1803"
The reverse with square topped, crowned shield with turrets and rampant lions, between the pillars of Hercules,
PLUS VLTRA in ribbons around pillars - National motto of Spain translating, "Further Beyond"
The legend reading: "HISPANIA ET IND REX" or "King of Spain and the Indies"
"Spanish dollars were made legal tender in the United States by an Act of February 9, 1793, and were not demonetized until February 21, 1857. Testaments to the importance of these coins continue in that "two bits," "pieces of eight" and "picayune" have become part of the American vocabulary. Also, it is interesting to observe that when the New York Stock Exchange opened in 1792 rates were reported in terms of New York shillings which were valued at eight to the Spanish m,illed dollar, hence changes were reported in eighths. Amazingly, over two hundred years after adoption of the decimal system, stock and security price variations are still reported in eighths!" (or were until just a few years ago.)
Read more on Spanish colonial coinage in the English colonies here: http://www.coins.nd.edu/ColCoin/ColCoinIntros/Sp-Silver.intro.html
"In the United States these coins were legal tender up until "Mr. Lincoln's War," or "the War Between the States," or "the War of Yankee Aggression" - let none dare call it "Civil" because there was nothing "civil" about it! The bank$ter$ $ucceededin getting Abe on February 21, 1857 to de-monetize silver.
"Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar, if you love football, stand up and holler."
Milled Colonial Spanish Dollars had a powerful effect on the U.S. coinage system. Our dollar was based on the Spanish Milled Dollar and some of the slang expressions referring to this money still survive today. As an example, the 8 Real was often cut into 8 “bits” to make change. Each bit was worth 12 1/2 cents (100 divided by 8). Though rapidly fading now, the expression 2 bits still refers to a quarter dollar."
For more in-depth information, See: Spanish-American Colonial Coinage http://coinsite.com/spanish-american-colonial-coinage
CoinSite Recommended Reference:
"Pillars & Portraits; A Catalogue of Spanish American silver coins 1732 to 1826" (Bonanza Press; 2nd edition (1969) ASIN: B0006CJD00 - http://tinyurl.com/qas5trp
Standard Catalog of World Coins Spain, Portugal and the New World, (KP books – Jan 15, 2002) - http://tinyurl.com/pqlhh2a
ISBN-10: 0873493257 \\ ISBN-13: 978-0873493253
"Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins - the only Authoritative Reference for All Pre-Federal Coinage."
(Whitman Publishing; 1st edition Dec 1, 2008) ISBN-10: 0794825419 \\ ISBN-13: 978-0794825416 - http://tinyurl.com/klqm2k7
"In his meticulously researched two-volume work, Pieces of Eight, constitutional lawyer Edwin Vieira Jr. shows beyond any doubt that the constitutional dollar in the United States is an "historically determinate, fixed weight of fine silver." The Coinage Act of 1792 is but one source among many that makes this evident, reading,
"the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars or units … of the value [mass or weight] of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure … silver.
The United States has a legal and constitutional silver standard, although we would not know it today, since the government has illegally and unconstitutionally removed silver as currency and replaced it with the Federal Reserve notes that we know as dollar bills. The term "dollar bills" obscures the actual and tangible meaning of "dollar" as a specific weight of silver." http://mises.org/library/constitutional-dollar
Today there is no legal definition of the term "dollar" to be found in U. S. statute!
"Various acts have subsequently been passed affecting the amount and type of metal in U. S. coins, so that today there is no legal definition of the term "dollar" to be found in U. S. statute. Current statutes regulating coinage in the United States may be found in Title 31 of the United States Code." - Coinage Act of 1792 @ Wikipedia (LINKS TO THE VARIOUS U.S. COINAGE ACTS CAN BE FOUND HERE):
Coinage Act of 1834
Coinage Act of 1849
Coinage Act of 1857
Coinage Act of 1864
Coinage Act of 1873 (1876 OMITTED)
Coinage Act of 1965
Excerpts below document that the very definition of the US Dollar in both the Articles of Confederation (1777) and the Constitutional Convention (1787) was not just based on, but actually WAS the Spanish Silver 8 Reales. The US Dollar eventually minted by Hamilton's Treasury Department was a SILVER COIN of the EXACT SAME SIZE, WEIGHT & PURITY because THE STANDARD ws the milled Spanish silver 8 Reales.
What Is A "Dollar"? An Historical Analysis Of The Fundamental Question In Monetary Policy" by Edwin Vieira, Jr.
The Founding Fathers did not need explicitly to adopt the "dollar" as the national unit of money or to define that noun in the Constitution - because the Continental Congress had already performed that task.
I. Use of the dollar as a standard coin and monetary unit did not begin with the Continental Congress, however. Monetary historians generally first associate the dollar with one Count Schlick, who began striking such silver coins in 1519 in Joachim's Thai, Bavaria. Then called "Schlickten thalers" or "Joachimsthalers,” the coins became known simply as "thalers,” which transliterated into "dollars.” Interestingly, the American Colonies did not adopt the dollar from England, but from Spain. Under that country's monetary reforms of 1497, the silver real became the Spanish money-unit, or unit of account. A new coin consisting of eight reales also appeared. (pictured above)
Variously known as pesos, duros, piezas de a ocho ("pieces of eight"), or Spanish dollars (because of their similarity in weight and fineness to the thaler), the coins quickly achieved predominance in financial markets of the New World because of Spain's then-important commercial and political position.24 Indeed, by 1704, the "pieces of eight" had in fact become a unit of account of the Colonies, as Queen Anne's Proclamation of 1704 recognized, when it decreed that all other current foreign silver coins "stand regulated, according to their weight and fineness, according and in proportion to the rate before limited and set for the pieces of eight of Sevil, Pillar, and Mexico.”25
By the War of Independence, the Spanish dollar was, for all practical purposes, rapidly becoming the monetary unit of the American people as a matter of economics. Not surprisingly, the Continental Congress first used, and then took formal steps to adopt, that dollar as the nation's standard of value. On 22 May 1776, a Congressional committee reported on "the value of the several species of gold and silver coins current in these colonies, and the proportions they ought to bear to Spanish milled dollars.” And on 2 September of that year, a further committee-report undertook to "declar[e] the precise weight and fineness of the * * * Spanish milled dollar * * * now becoming the Money-Unit or common measure of other coins in these states and to "explai[n] the principles and establish the rules by which * * * the said common measure shall be applied to other coins * * * in order to estimate their comparative values.”26
Meanwhile, Congress and its agents were carefully exploring the basis of, and possible structures for, a national monetary-system. In his letter to Congress of 15 January 1782, Robert Morris, Superintendent of the Office of Finance, commented that, "[a]lthough most nations have coined copper, yet that metal is so impure, that it has never been considered as constituting the money standard. This is affixed to the two precious metals [i.e., silver and gold], because they alone will admit of having their intrinsic value precisely ascertained.” "Arguments are unnecessary to shew that the scale by which every thing is to be measured ought to be as fixed as the nature of things will permit,” wrote Morris, concluding that"[t]here can be no doubt therefore that our money standard ought to be affixed to silver.” Although Morris personally favored creating an entirely new standard coin, he recognized that "[t]he various coins which have circulated in America, have undergone different changes in their value, so that there is hardly any which can be considered as a general standard, unless it be Spanish dollars.”27
In a plan first published on 24 July 1784, Thomas Jefferson strongly concurred that "[t]he Spanish dollar seems to fulfill all * * * conditions" applicable to "fixing the unit of money.” "Taking into our view all money transactions, great and small," he ventured, "I question if a common measure, of more convenient size than the dollar, could be proposed." "The unit, or dollar," he wrote equating the one with the other, "is a known coin, and the most familiar of all to the minds of people. It is already adopted from south to north: has identified our currency, and therefore happily offers itself as an unit already introduced. Our public debt, our requisitions and their aportionments, have given it actual and long possession of the place of unit."28
Concluding, he encouraged Congress:
To appoint proper persons to assay and examine, with the utmost accuracy practicable, the Spanish milled dollars of different dates in circulation with us.
To assay and examine in like manner the fineness of all the other coins which may be found in circulation within these states.
To appoint also proper persons to inquire what are the proportions between the values in fine gold and fine silver, at the markets of the several countries with which we are or probably may be connected in commerce; and what would be a proper proportion here, having regard to the average of their values at those markets * * * .
To prepare an ordinance for establishing the unit of money within these states * * * on the * * * principle[:]
That the money-unit of these states shall be equal in value to Spanish milled dollar, containing so much fine silver as the assay * * * shall shew to be contained on an average in dollars of the several dates in circulation with us.30
* * * Footnote references above can be found at the end of the article here: http://www.constitution.org/mon/what_is_a_dollar.htm
A picayune was a Spanish coin, worth half a real. Its name derives from the French picaillon, which is itself from the Provençal picaioun, meaning “small coin.” By extension, picayune can mean “trivial” or “of little value.” [Ironic if it is recalled that 8 reales was TWO weeks wages, making one week (or six days labor then, say 40 hours now) worth 4 reales = 1 real for 10 hours, making one-half a real, or the picayune equal to five hours pay.]
Aside from being used in Spanish territories, the picayune and other Spanish currency was used throughout colonial America. Spanish dollars were made legal tender in the United States by an act on February 9, 1793 until it was demonetized on February 21, 1857. The coin’s name first appeared in Florida and Louisiana where its value was worth approximately six and a quarter cents, and whose name was sometimes used in place of the U.S. nickel. A daily newspaper published in the New Orleans market, the Times-Picayune, is named after the picayune.
Sep 10, 1833:
Andrew Jackson shuts down Second Bank of the U.S.
Q: WHY WAS SILVER DE-MONETIZED IN 1853 & 1857?
A: So that the Rothschilds could plunder all precious metal from the populace and all bank reserves & have it sent out of the country!
Because silver was worth a premium over gold, the Rothschilds bought ALL the silver coins of Spain, Mexico, South America & the U.S. which up until then was widely used as legal tender, in addition to all those held by all the banks, which constituted the bulk of their reserves, and had them all shipped to Europe. So, the demonetization of our silver deprived the banks of a large portion of their reserves, while also pillaging the population, who were forced to exchange their silver for legal tender. http://tinyurl.com/kzf2wfg
"The silver dollars of Spain, Mexico, South America and the United States were worth a premium over gold, and were bought by the Rothschilds and sent out of the country, though they did big service while they stayed here. But the banks did not hold them as reserves. So the demonetization of our small silver deprived the banks of a large portion of their reserves and of paying their circulation therein. Up to February, 1857, all foreign gold coins and the silver coins of most nations were, in the United States, full legal tender with our coins at the values fixed by our laws; and gold being, since 1834, overvalued in the United States, immense quantities of these gold coins came here and remained."
"fact: gold was superabundant. These gold coins were also held by the banks as reserves in large quantities.
But on February 21, 1857, Congress demonetized all foreign coins. This took them out of the banks. They went abroad never to return. And this was one chief cause of the panic of 1857. The facts above given, properly circulated, should forever silence the quibbles of the gold men about the non-use and non-coinage of silver up to 1878. From 1861 to 1878 we used but little coin."
APA: Schulte, Francis J. (2013). pp. 180-1. The Little Statesman. London: Forgotten Books. (Original work published 1895)
MLA: Schulte, Francis J. The Little Statesman. 1895. Reprint. London: Forgotten Books, 2013. 180-1
PM demonetization in the 1850s was the opening campaign in "The War on Gold" by the bank$ter$' masters, the Rothschilds. For more easily than the Spanish had conquered the New World, plundering the Incas, Aztecs, Myans & others for their silver & gold, the Rothschilds were able to plunder every bank in America simply by hood-winking the corrupt simpletons in Congress into demonetizing PM. Thus, they hauled off most of the above-ground PM at the time to their own private vaults, never to be seen again.
Due to its demonetization before Lincoln's war, "silver never returned to the 15½/1 ratio of the first half of the 19th century, and the predominant long term trend was that silver continued to decline in value against gold. Nowadays the ratio in relation to the value of gold, although variable, is more of the order of 60/1."  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_standard
U S Trade dollar
I am struck by the chronology of silver's demonetization & remonetization in relation to domestic coins Vs the Trade Dollar.
After ALL silver coins were demonetized in the 1850s, bought by the Rothschilds & hauled away before the War between the states. Then after the war, they create a market for the silver they bought after 1857 by getting Congress to create 15 years later the "Trade Dollar" All the silver was minted into Trade Dollars & sent aross the Pacific to China. Remonetization in 1873, then demonetization again in 1876 after they proved to be unpopular due to a decline in the price of silver. (China was even then hoarding PM, refusing to take anything else from America in payment for for its goods! The Red Chi-Comms are about to re-implement the same policy in reverse with a gold-bcked Juan in 2015, which will complete the total de-valuation of the USD.)
..."the Coinage Act of 1873 made trade dollars legal tender up to five dollars. . . . The coins were first struck in 1873, and most of the production was sent to China. Eventually, bullion producers began converting large amounts of silver into trade dollars, causing the coins to make their way into American commercial channels. This caused frustration among those to whom they were given in payment, as the coins were largely maligned and traded for less than one dollar each. In response to their wide distribution in American commerce, the coins were officially demonetized in 1876, but continued to circulate. Production of business strikes ended in 1878, though the mintage of proof coins officially continued until 1883. The trade dollar was re-monetized when the Coinage Act of 1965 was signed into law." (the same act which demonetized silver in domestic US coins: only 1964 & earlier coins were 90% silver. In 1965, the feds needed all the silver for the revival of the Trade Dollar for the Asian Pacific Rim economies.)
Soon after the Rothschilds bought all PM bu in the USA following the demonetization of 1857, Napolean III of FRANCE invaded Mexico or the express purpose of plundering all of its silver to fund expansion of his empire, in1861 while North America was divided by Mr Lincoln's war. So, after 1865, there was hardly ANY PM bullion coin remaining in either North or Central America.
The Spanish Treasure Fleets by Timothy R Walton (Pineapple Press; 1st edition, May 1, 1994)
Movie: Treasure Island (1950) Stars: Basil Sydney, Robert Newton, Bobby Driscoll. https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/treasure-island-1950/id299632133
Movie: Long John Silver's Return to Treasure Island (1954) Stars: Robert Newton as Silver, Rod Taylor as Israel Hands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HrPGKphLEw
. \\ or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEMFlFzvPvo
Movie: Long-John Silver's Return to Treasure Island  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBKOFfBuk6M
Movie: Treasure Island (1990) Stars: Charlton Heston, Christian Bale, Oliver Reed. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100813
Movie: Return to Treasure Island (1996) adult Jim Hawkins (Dean O'Gorman) has a second encounter with the island and Long John Silver (Stig Eldred). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1er3j2X60jw
Links to Spanish 8 Reales coins found from web searches are below.
1 OZ SILVER = 2 WEEKS WAGE$! or US$ 760 /oz
Re: valuing a 1 oz Spanish 8 Realas silver coin, or merely one ounce of silver:
This info is a good example of the fascinating historical education one gets while researching collectible coin values! Perhaps it also accounts for the transformation of a bullion stacker into a numismatist.
"A single silver dollar or “piece-of-eight” was considered acceptable pay for two week’s labor in the 17th century (1600s). One ounce of Silver = TWO WEEKS WAGES! Since Walmart announced its new minimum wage to be $9 per hour last week (today is 26 Feb 2015), consider: $9 x 40hrs/week = $360/wk x 2 = $720 per ounce if one ounce of silver still paid for two weeks of work. So, if there is a "Big Re-$et" of currency values, & silver is re-valued to this historical precedent, then from $17 it will gain by a factor of 42 (42 x $17 = $720, two weeks or 80 hours wages at $9/hr.)
I came across this amazing info after writing my note on AMERICA'S FIRST DOLLAR, in another Facebook NOTE I found; please read it as well: "Pieces of Eight" Spanish New World Treasure Coins March 25, 2010 at 6:54pm © 2010 by E. Lee Spence, a shipwreck treasure expert and underwater archeologist.
"Pieces of Eight" Spanish New World Treasure Coins | Facebook .
- - - https://www.facebook.com/notes/dr-e-lee-spence-underwater-archaeologist-shipwrecks-sunken-treasure/pieces-of-eight-spanish-new-world-treasure-coins/377034956485
March 25, 2010 at 6:54 PM
© 2010 by E. Lee Spence
Assorted sizes of Spanish coins commonly known as "Pieces of Eight"Assorted sizes of Spanish coins commonly known as "Pieces of Eight"
The legendary pirate coins known as “pieces-of-eight” were actually silver “dollars” made by native American craftsmen in Mexico, Peru, Colombia and other countries in Central and South America, who had been enslaved by the Spaniards. The coins were produced for approximately 300 years.
“Dollar” was simply the English spelling of the same size “Thaler” coins produced in the Spanish controlled Netherlands during the same time period. The letters “Th” being pronounced as a “D.”)
Until 1732, when heavy screw coin presses were introduced in Mexico City, all New World coins were individually cast or hand cut and stamped. The most famous coins were the irregular “cobs”, cut from a thin bar of silver, that had been heated red hot and hammered flat. Most cobs were stamped with the cross of the Catholic church on the reverse side and the coat of arms of Spain on the obverse side. “8” was simply the coin’s denomination in “reals” and sometimes appeared on the obverse side along with the date. Other denominations of cobs included 1/2’s, 1’s, 2’s and 4’s. (Note: although it is technically incorrect, even the smaller sizes are frequently referred to as "pieces of eight.")
Gold coins came in the same denominations but were called escudos. The Spanish “eight escudo" was also known as a doubloon.
Because few of the people manufacturing them could read, they sometimes got the dies mixed up and stamped the wrong denomination on the metal blank. (My wife wears a 4 that is stamped with the design for an 8.) The important thing was that the stamp marks attested to the purity of the silver, and the fact that taxes had been paid to both the church and the royal family.
A single silver dollar or “piece-of-eight” was considered acceptable pay for two week’s labor in the 17th century.
Store owners kept jeweler’s scales handy to prevent being cheated by “clip artists” or “chiselers” who fraudulently clipped or chiseled the corners or edges of the coins.
Despite stories to the contrary, pieces-of-eight were not routinely cut up by merchants to make change, although some were recut by local governments, jewelers, or at private or official mints to meet the local needs for more smaller denomination coins. Such coins are frequently stamped with an additional tax mark or assayer’s mark.
The manufacture of coins with screw presses, allowed for perfectly round dollars to be made with “reeded” or inscribed edges. Such edging made tampering obvious and store owners no longer needed to weigh coins.
Despite the fact that, for most of the colonial era, there was no legal trade between Spain and Great Britain, British colonists used more Spanish dollars than pounds sterling. Their only source for the Spanish coins was through pirates and smugglers, who actually brought their ill-gotten booty into ports like Charleston, South Carolina, and advertised it for sale in the newspapers.
At one point, just one piece-of-eight on an American ship was considered sufficient proof by the Spaniards that the Americans were pirates or smugglers and the Spanish “Guardacosta” would confiscate the whole ship (just as the U.S. Coast Guard now practices zero tolerance, confiscating million dollar yachts found with even one “joint” aboard.)
When the “thirteen colonies” broke away from England, the United States adopted the Spanish dollar (“piece-of-eight”) as its standard monetary unit. For convenience, the United States divided its dollar into 100 parts rather than eight. The amount of silver in the new “American” dollar, half dollar and quarter dollar coins was meant to put them on par with the Spanish 8, 4, and 2 “real” pieces.
Sometimes single galleons carried as many as 2,000,000 individual coins with a total weight of over 60 tons. Even though Spanish galleons were typically well armed, when they were heavily laden with gold and silver, they were a tempting target for pirates and privateers.
During the early 1800’s Spain’s rule in the Americas came to a bloody end as revolutions tore through Central and South America. The treasure fleets, which had been sailing annually for almost 300 years came to a screeching halt. With no more silver galleons to pirate, there was soon a shortage of small coinage in the United States and some banks printed paper money in denominations of 12 1/2 cents, 25 cents and 50 cents to replace it.
Holes were frequently drilled in pieces-of-eight so they could be sewn into the lining of clothing for smuggling or as protection against theft and tax collectors.
Pieces-of-eight continued to be accepted as legal tender in the United States until about the start of the American Civil War (Late War of Northern Aggression).
Even Today, many old timers still refer to a quarter of a dollar as “2 bits”, and until fairly recently stock prices were quoted in eighths, quarters, halves and dollars on the New York Stock Exchange.
In high school we all chanted “2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits, a dollar, all for our team, stand up and holler”. Even when Federal law was changed, and the old coins were no longer legal tender, they were still highly valued.
Because of their unique appearance (no two cobs were ever exactly alike), and the high purity of the silver in them, people frequently gave them to friends and family members as friendship, wedding, and graduation gifts. As such, they were treasured and eventually became thought as “good luck pieces”. As long as you had one, you would never be broke.
The value of these handsome hand made coins has sky-rocketed. A dollar sized, silver, piece-of-eight from a famous wreck like Mel Fisher’s Atocha in “number one grade” condition can bring well over a thousand dollars. Many of the gold doubloons now go for tens of thousands of dollars. One unique silver piece of eight recovered from a wreck in the Bahamas was actually appraised at over one million dollars.
Pieces-of-eight have been found on virtually all of the beaches of the Americas. In most cases, these coins are washing ashore from nearby shipwrecks. I live in the Carolinas and it is my belief that millions of dollars in pieces-of-eight will one day be found on a Spanish galleon in the shallow coastal waters of North or South Carolina.
Next time you watch a re-run of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island, listen to Long John Silver’s parrot squawk “pieces-of-eight, pieces-of-eight”. And when you go to bed, dream, dream of adventure and treasure.
© 2010 by Edward Lee Spence (this is an update of a 1992 article by Spence)
Admiral Nelson Shipwreck Treasure & Pirate Shoppe, Gettysburg, PA - http://www.nelsonshipwreckpirate.com/ShipwreckCoins.html
page 2, Admiral Nelson Shipwreck Treasure & Pirate Shoppe - An obliterated shipwreck 1776 Charles III 8 Real sold for $525 June 2014 (on left half-way down) http://www.nelsonshipwreckpirate.com/Shipwreck-Coins2.html
three dated 1983 from El Cazador here (ask is outrageous!) http://www.ancientresource.com/lots/shipwreck-pirate-coins.html
The Bradford exchange wants $249 for this salt-water pitted sand-blasted by hurricanes piece of ship wreck junk! http://www.bradfordexchange.com/products/1700286001_coin-americas-first-silver-dollar-coin.html?cm_ven=GPS&cm_cat=Google
WORLD NUMISMATICS, formerly the MEXICAN COIN COMPANY, has the largest inventory of Spanish eights for sale anywhere. https://worldnumismatics.com/?page_id=36414
A new BOOK, 'The Silver Way' Explains How the Old Mexican Dollar Changed the World.
Long before the dollar was painted Washington emerald green, it was polished Mexican silver. - https://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-silver-way-explains-how-the-old-mexican-dollar-changed-20410
The Silver Way: China, Spanish America and the Birth of Globalization, 1565-1815 (Penguin Specials) Paperback – June 1, 2017. - https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Way-Globalisation-1565-1815-Specials/dp/073439943X/ref=as_li_ss_tl
WOW! As of 13 July 2020, the starting price for any Spanish 8 Real 1 oz Silver Coin iz $1,995 < !!! Almost 2 GRAND for what they were selling for $75 in ads from 2010, just ten years ago! https://www.govmint.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Spanish+8+Real+1+ounce+silver+coin
In 2010, Gov Mint was selling 1783 Spanish 8 Reales 1oz Silver Coins for only $75 each. Any 1783 Real is probably from the shipwreck EL CAZADOR, which sunk in in 1784. They've been sand-blasted by sea currents on the ocean bottom for 236+ years & are usually in poor condition.
Here is the ad, titled, "American Revolution Silver Dollars Found" http://tinyurl.com/zf3r9fe
another location if above link does not work: http://digitaledition.qwinc.com/publication/?i=31614&p=33
"Pieces of Eight" Spanish New World Treasure Coins | Facebook
© 2010 by E. Lee Spence Assorted sizes of Spanish coins commonly known as "Pieces of Eight" The legendary pirat...
Gov Mint asking $5 Grand for the Uncirculated Spanish 8 reales minted in PERU (13 July 2020) : https://www.govmint.com/3pc-peru-1753-55-8-reales-pillar-slv-ngc-unc-excvt