Description:These are genuine Spanish silver coins that were minted in the colonial South American mint of Potosi, Peru. The obverse features a castle with the 1808 date, and the reverse shows a crowned rampant lion. In 1533, four decades after Columbus landed in the New World, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro conquered the Inca Empire in Peru. Soon after, high in the Andes Mountains at Potosi, the Spanish discovered the richest silver deposits in the world and in 1575, they opened the Potosi mint.
Over the following centuries, the Spanish and their mighty galleon fleets were the premier supplier of silver and gold 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.
These rare coins were minted during the reign of Charles IV, who was king from 1788 until he was forced to abdicate in 1808 by his son Ferdinand VII. Soon after, Ferdinand was overthrown by Napoleon, but was restored to power in 1813. During this time of upheaval, a greatly weakened Spain began to be challenged by wars of independence from the majority of their South American colonies. Peru remained a royalist stronghold to the Spanish Crown, but they finally fell to revolutionary forces in 1824. The mints were closed and these were among the last of the Spanish coins to be minted in colonial South America.