To fully understand how the very first Spanish Silver 8 Reales was created you have to understand a little Spanish history. From 1475 to 1500 Spain was in a time of transition. It was the beginning of one of the largest empires in history known as the Spanish Empire or Hispanic Monarchy. In addition, it was the formation of the dynastic union between Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Basically, the king and queen of the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon forming a joint reign. The young couple got married on October 19, 1469. She was 18 years old and he was only seventeen.
Both signed a document in 1475 called the Concord of Segovia. In short, this is where the real transitioning of power began. In other words, both of them would have the same power in managing their kingdoms. This system remained valid throughout their reign as Isabella started to age. By transferring ruling competencies to Ferdinand, he and his Aragonese advisors had almost all the power by 1500.
The Spanish dollar, also known as the piece of eight, started to be minted by the Spanish Empire. To clarify, this followed the monetary reform in 1497 and was widely used as the first international currency. In fact, some countries, including the United States countermarked the Spanish dollar. Therefore, once the coin was properly weighted with an addition mark or symbol, it could be used as their local currency. This practice is no longer in use, but at the time it was a cheaper alternative. Otherwise, they would have to recall or confiscate the coins, melt them down, and replace them.
Spanish 8R minted at the Toledo Mint
Ferdinand & Isabella had the very first Spanish Silver 8 Reales minted at the Toledo Mint. In fact, the video below is and incredible Spanish rarity. It is the first ever and only certified Spanish 8 Reale struck of silver during Ferdinand & Isabella reign (1474-1504). What make this particular coin so unique is that it was issued at the Toledo Mint. Furthermore, it is the only one certified in any condition. On the front of the coin is a crowned coat of arms. On the reverse is star with eight arrows.
The Spanish dollar was the coin upon which the original United States dollar was based. As a matter of fact, it remained legal tender in the United States until the Coinage Act of 1857. To find out more about the very first Spanish Silver 8 Reales by calling a Rare Coin Advisor at 1-800-928-6468.