Description:This 17th century Spanish gold coin was minted in the "New Spain" city of Santa Fé de Bogotá. The Spanish founded this city in 1538 and the mint opened in 1622. The majority of gold coins minted in the "New World" were struck here in Bogota. The obverse side features a Jerusalem cross with crowns in the quarters and the bottom part of the 16XX date. The reverse shows the Philip IV coat of arms with the Bogota “NR” and assayer “R” mintmarks. From the House of Habsburg, Philip ruled a Spanish global empire 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 and their mighty galleon fleets, were the premier supplier of gold and silver coins for the world. This vastly increased the shipping trade and made many merchants wealthy, both in Spain and in the Colonies. However, it was inevitable that the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1725) in the New World would ensue. Buccaneers from Tortuga and pirates throughout the Caribbean raided ships and settlements in search of treasure.
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. Minted in five denominations in gold, the largest was the 8 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.