Spanish Silver Dollar, 1774

Minted in Mexico in the reign of Charles III


SKU SF000853 Category


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Background

The Spanish dollar (also known as the piece of eight or the eight-real coin) is a silver coin of approximately 38 mm diameter, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497.

In Australia, in the colony of New South Wales, Spanish dollars sent by the British government had their centers punched out to make two coins from each dollar. This created the first official currency produced specifically for circulation in Australia, known as Holey Dollars and Dumps.

The Spanish dollar was the coin upon which the original United States dollar was based, and it remained legal tender in the United States until the Coinage Act of 1857. Because it was widely used in Europe, the Americas, and the Far East, it became the first world currency by the late 18th century. Aside from the U.S. dollar, several other existing currencies, such as the Canadian dollar, the Chinese yuan, several currencies in Latin America and the Philippine peso, were all initially based on the Spanish dollar and other 8-reales coins.

Additional information
Date

1774

Material

Silver