Johanna and Charles Spanish 2 Reales Pendant

Item #5108

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  • Colonial Spanish 2 Reales. Date: 1555 - 1571
  • Monarchs: Johanna and Charles I
  • Mint: Mexico City. Assayer: "O" Bernardo de Onate
  • Grade: Very Fine
  • Silver Coin in 14k Gold Pendant, Weight 10.4g
  • Framed Coin Size: 31mm Diameter, with 6mm Bail Opening for Necklace
  • Size Chart with mm to inches Conversions


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This silver coin was minted in Mexico City in the mid-16th century. Coins struck during this time in this newly discovered Spanish territory, are among the first coins minted in the New World. This Mexican mint opened in 1535 under the joint reign of mother “Johanna the Mad” and her son Charles I. During their reign, the territories in New Spain were considerably extended by conquistadores like Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro, who caused the Aztec and Inca empires to fall in little more than a decade.
When King Charles abdicated his throne in 1566 and his son Philip II became king, the Spanish Mexican mint continued to strike this style of coinage in the name of Charles I and Johanna until 1571. Minted in five denominations in silver, the largest was the 8 reales, which was famous in the colonies and among pirates as a “piece of eight.” This two reales coin features the Pillars of Hercules on the obverse and the Charles & Johanna coat of arms on the reverse.
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.