Description:This 17th century Spanish gold coin was minted in the "New Spain" city of Cartagena, located along the Caribbean coast in modern day Colombia. The Spanish founded this city in 1533 and the mint opened here in 1621. During the colonial era, Cartagena was heavily fortified against pirate attacks because it was a major port for the export of gold and silver to Spain. With the discovery of untold riches that were mined in the Americas, the Spanish and their mighty galleon fleets, were the premier supplier of gold and silver coins for the world. 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.
Gold coinage of this historical period was decreed by the King to be 22 karats and were hand struck from dies and cut to weight according to the Spanish monetary system. Minted in five denominations in gold, the largest was the eight escudos, however the 2 escudos was famous in the colonies and among pirates as a "doubloon”. A common working man at this time would have to work 4 months to earn a single doubloon.
This rare Cartagena 2 escudos was minted during the reign of King Philip IV. During his rule, the territory of the Spanish Empire would reach its' largest size. The obverse of this coin features a cross with crowns in the quarters and the reverse depicts the Philip IV coat of arms.