This coin, known as the Spanish
(Hispanic) trade dollar or as a Piece of Eight, is a silver coin of
diameter and worth 8 Reales.
It was widely used throughout the Spanish Empire including the USA
(colonial until 1857), Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Columbia, Chile,
and was designed to compete with the Austrian
IIII (or IV) reigned from 1788 to 1808 and is featured on the
front of the coin.
back of these coins has a crowned shield and two large pillars on
coin was the MODEL for the U.S. (silver) dollar and was legal tender in
the USA until 1857
8 reales silver coin was roughly equivalent to one month’s
pay for a sailor in the 1800’s.
coins were often cut and divided into smaller pieces. The term "2 bits"
was a quarter size piece of this coin.
now use this term to refer to a quarter. 4 bits refers to half a dollar
The coin on this spoon is dated 1805, but this series of coins
was minted for several years
The stem on this spoon is cast and soldered to the back of the coin.
The stem design is not clear and I am unsure of the intended effect.
suspect that another coin was melted and used to make the silver
stem because the stem metal and coin metal are the same.
There are no markings to determine origination.
Near the top is a small figure which appears to be holding something.
I am unsure of the symbolism--it might be a mirror or
representing the world and was originally gilt (but most has worn off).
CAROLUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1806
by the Grace of God, 1806." Right profile of Charles IIII in soldier's
dress with laurel wreath.
The Back is known as the pillars of Hercules
Per Greek mythology, One of Hercules 12 tasks was to fetch some cattle
from a land far to the west. This area is now widely believed to be the
Strait of Gibraltar with its mountains on either side of the strait
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