Description:This rare "Maria" type, Spanish silver coin was minted in Madrid, Spain during the rule of King Charles II. The obverse side features a cross above Queen Maria's monogram and the legend PROTECTIONE VIRTVTE "Protect my Virtue". The reverse depicts the Charles II coat of arms and BR assayer mark. Charles II was the last King of Spain from the House of Habsburg. He ruled during the "Golden Age of Spain", a global power, with territories and colonies in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceana.
With the discovery of untold riches that were mined in the Americas, the Spanish were the premier supplier of gold and silver coins for the world. This vastly increased trade and made many merchants wealthy, both in Spain and in the Colonies. However, during this adventurous age, it was inevitable that large amounts of Spanish treasure would be lost on land and at sea due to pirates, storms and other unforeseen misfortunes.
Spanish coinage of this historical period was hand struck from dies and cut to weight. Minted in five denominations in silver, the largest was the 8 reales, famous in the colonies and among pirates as a “Piece of Eight”. The other denominations were 4 reales, 2 reales, 1 real and 1/2 real. Cob coinage with their unusual shapes are all unique and each is a one of a kind piece of history.