King Charles I One Escudo Pendant

Item #5739

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  • Denomination: 1 Escudo. Date: 1535
  • Spanish Monarch: Charles I
  • Mint: Barcelona. Grade: Good Very Fine
  • Obverse: Cross with Leaves and Crowns. Reverse: Royal Coat of Arms
  • Gold Coin in 18k Gold Pendant, Weight 12.3g
  • Framed Coin Size: 29mm Diameter, with 6.5mm Bail Opening for Necklace
  • Size Chart with mm to inches Conversions


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This escudo coin was minted during the reign of King Charles I in Barcelona to fund his 1535 military expedition to expel the Ottomans from Tunis. The obverse side of this gold coin shows a cross with leaves and crowns at the ends. The reverse shows the crowned royal coat of arms.
Charles was the heir of three of Europe's leading dynasties, the House of Habsburg, the House of Valois-Burgundy and the House of Trastámara. He was the first king to rule Castile, León and Aragon simultaneously and in 1516, Charles I was crowned the first King of Spain. In 1519, he also became Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria. From that point forward, his powerful empire spanned across territories in Europe, the Far East and the Americas.
In the New World, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro conquered the Inca Empire in 1533 and extracted 13,000 pounds of gold from the Inca’s. The “Royal Fifth” was the 20% of this massive treasure due to the Spanish Crown. This unexpected windfall delivered to Charles was desperately needed as the Ottoman Empire took control of Tunis in 1534. The Ottomans used this North African port city to launch devastating attacks on the Spanish and Italian coasts. With enormous expense, including this gold coin, Charles assembled Catholic allies and an imperial fleet in Barcelona of close to 400 ships. The fleet, led by Charles himself, sailed to Tunis in 1535 and after a great siege, the Christian coalition recaptured the city.