I love collecting old coins. Imagining the history behind them and thinking about the people whose hands they may have passed through, can set the mind afire. One of my favorite old coins is the Spanish 8 Reale, or "pieces of eight" of pirate lore.
I mainly collect those minted in Mexico City by La Casa de Moneda de México. This mint was established in 1535 and is the first active mint in the Americas. Today the mint is still active producing the modern bullion coin from Mexico, the Libertad. The 8 Reale is considered by many to be the first "American Silver Dollar" as it was frequently used for trade in colonial America. The first official US Silver Dollar was not minted until 1794.
My 1799 8 reale from the Mexico City mint
The obverse is a bust of Carlos (Charles) IIII of Spain and the reverse depicts the Crowned Spanish arms between the Pillars of Hercules. If you examine the pillar on the left and the ribbon flowing around it; it is said that this is the origin of the US dollar sign ($)
Modern Mexican Libertad from the Casa de Moneda.
If you look closely, both coins share the same mint mark.
** A decent example of 8 reale shipwreck silver. This coin was recovered from the El Cazador which sank in 1784. I will go deeper into the story behind this shipwreck another time**
Well this forum has been great for me, as my family has heard my coin stories more than they can handle. I now have an outlet to share.
Please follow @oakleyshark and upvote, and I will do the same.