Description:This rare Spanish gold escudo coin was minted in Seville, Spain during the rule of King Philip IV. The obverse side features a Jerusalem cross with crowns in the quarters all within a quatrefoil and the reverse depicts the Philip IV Spanish royal coat of arms. From the House of Habsburg, Philip ruled a Spanish global empire with territories and colonies in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceana. Under the Spanish Habsburgs rule in the 16th & 17th centuries, Spain reached the peak of its political and economic strength when its Empire became the foremost global power.
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.
Spanish gold coins of this historical period were decreed by the King to be 22 karats and were hand struck from dies and cut to weight. Minted in five denominations, 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 two months to earn a single escudo.