Description:This rare Spanish gold 4 escudos coin was minted in Seville, Spain during the rule of King Philip III. The obverse of this coin features a Jerusalem cross with crowns in the quarters all within a quatrefoil. The reverse depicts the Philip III coat of arms, with Seville "S" and assayer "B" mintmarks.
From the House of Habsburg, Philip ruled during the "Golden Age of Spain", 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 became 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, 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 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 man at this time would have to work 8 months to earn a 4 escudos.