Spanish Dollar

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This type of coin is known as a columnario de mundos y mares, as its reverse side presents the two terrestrial globes of the Eastern and Western hemispheres, crowned and over the sea, between the columns of Hercules. It is the first Bourbon coin used in the Americas. According to the Royal Order of June 1728, the most common Spanish silver coins in the Americas were the real fuerte columnario or columnario de mundos y mares and they were first minted in Mexico in 1732, with face values of ½ real, 1 real, 2 reales, 4 reales and 8 reales.Salto de línea This type of coin, particularly the 8 reales coin, was used for trade worldwide and was known as the Pillar Dollar, Spanish Dollar or Piastra Spagnola. Its reverse depicts the sea, with the two hemispheres appearing beneath the crown and between the columns of Hercules, surrounded by bands including the inscription “PLUS ULTRA”. A motto also appears on the border of the coin, reading “UTRAQUE UNUM”.Salto de línea The columnarios were minted from 1732, replacing the hammer mints, until 1772, when they were replaced with the motif of the monarch’s bust. This example, dated 1757, is the oldest discovered so far.Salto de línea The two earth globes represent the Eastern and Western hemispheres, with a royal crown appearing above both of them. Below the two globes, an image of sea waves appears (representing the ocean that separated Europe and America), with a crowned column on each side of the globes (hence the name of the coins, columnarios or “column bearers”), representing the Columns of Hercules. A banner appears wrapped around each column, bearing the motto “PLUS ULTRA” (the national motto of Spain meaning “beyond” in Latin). The upper edge of the obverse features the legend “UTRAQUE UNUM”, meaning “both are one” in Latin, and highlighting the unity of the Spanish empire's territories in each hemisphere. The date of issue and the marks of the mint appear on the lower edge. The obverse of the coin showed the name of the Spanish monarch in Latin followed by the legend (also in Latin) “DG HISPAN ET IND REX”, meaning “By the Grace of God, King of Spain and the Indies”. On the left the initials of the assayer appeared and, in the centre, a large Spanish coats of arms, with a royal crown on top. In order to avoid forgeries, laurel leaves were engraved on the edge of the coin.Salto de línea


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