Description:These Spanish silver coins were minted in the nearby mints of Segovia and Madrid Spain during the reign of King Philip V. The obverse side features a cross with castles & lions in the quarters and the reverse shows the Philip V crowned coat of arms. Philip was the first King of Spain from the House of Bourbon and ruled from 1700 - 1746. The 18th century was a prosperous time for the Spanish Empire in the Americas as trade within grew steadily. The Bourbon reforms of Philip V and his son Ferdinand VI included a major modernization of the Spanish Navy. They also began registering individual merchant ships (rather than private monopolized fleets), which led to much greater revenues from the Americas.
With the discovery of untold riches that were mined in the Americas, the Spanish became the premier supplier of gold and silver coins for the world. This vastly expanded 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 coinage of this historical period was minted in five denominations in silver, the largest was the 8 reales, famous in the colonies and among pirates as a “Piece of Eight”. The other denominations were 4 reales, 2 reales, 1 real and 1/2 real. All are unique and each is a one of a kind piece of history.