Real de a Ocho de Dos Mundos
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1762 Eight Reales from the Old World and New World

 

I have a batch of 8 reales in for grading so while I wait on the results, I thought I would journal about the one that I find the most interesting, a 1762 Spanish 8 reales from Madrid.

 

In the mid 1700's, the Spanish mints did not turn out many of the larger silver coins. Production of the 8 reales ended in 1736 and did not appear regularly until 1772, with the exception of the 1762 mintage. Charles III ascended to the throne near the end of 1759 and in 1761 made the first change to the Spanish coat of arms since 1700. Most notable is the addition of arms of the Italian houses of Farnese and Medici -- Charles had ruled the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily since 1734. The 8 reales and 8 escudos coins of 1762 feature the new coat of arms on their obverse. This design would not appear again on reales coins and only on the reverse of the escudos starting in 1771.

 

The coat of arms that Charles III introduced in 1761 is a testament to the great breadth of Spanish influence in Europe at the time. You can refer to the upper left image in my attached photo as I describe the design. Starting in the upper left and working clockwise we have the arms of Aragon, a former confederation of kingdoms in Eastern Spain and Italy; Aragon-Sicily, a blend of the Hohenstaufen eagle and the ruling Aragonese arms; Austria; Burgundy modern (framed fleurs-de-lis of the House of Valois-Burgundy); the balls of the House of Medici at 3 O'clock; the lion of the Duchy of Brabant (Netherlands); the eagle of Tyrol (Austria/Italy); the lion of Flanders (Belgium); Burgundy ancient (House of Burgundy); and at 9 O'clock, the six fleur-de-lis of the House of Farnese (Italy). In the center are the quartered arms of Castile (castle) and León (lion) with the pomegranate of Granada at the bottom and the three fleur-de-lis of Anjou (France) in the center. The reverse design presents just the arms of Castile and León.

 

In my photo composite, I've included my 1762 8 reales from Mexico as a point of reference for the appearance of Spanish coinage minted in the new world. The obverse maintains the abbreviated arms that had been the standard for the milled coinage of the Spanish colonies since 1732. The reverse features a powerful image of global domination, the crowned Pillars of Hercules wrapped with the national motto of Spain "PLUS ULTRA" (further beyond) framing a representation of the old and new worlds floating on the waters between them surmounted by the Spanish crown. The legend "VTRAQUE VNUM" is for the Latin "Ultra Que Unum", "both are one", again asserting the Spanish union of both worlds into one empire. The colonial coins were minted in vaster quantities and traveled much farther than the coins minted in Spain -- it makes sense that they would carry the stronger message.

 

The 1762 from Madrid is well struck, nicely toned and seems free of surface abrasions. I'm hoping it grades at least as well as its companion from Mexico.

 

~jack

14248.jpg

 

See more journals by jgenn

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Jack,

That was quite a history lesson on a couple great looking pieces. Good luck on your submission.

 

Rick

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Jack

These coins are pretty cool and with the history lesson you provide it's just icing on the cake!

Gary

Edited by gherrmann44

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Jack,

Great post! The history, descriptions, and pictures are what really bring a collection to life.

Harry

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Ah, yes. The wonderful Catholic Majesty that happily introduced slavery, genocide and cultural annihilation to the new world -- all in the name of "Holy Mother Church."

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Ah, yes. The wonderful Catholic Majesty that happily introduced slavery, genocide and cultural annihilation to the new world -- all in the name of "Holy Mother Church."
Roger, no offense, but when are you moving back to the old world in protest? The Europeans wiped out over 90% of my of my ancestry but I guess that's ok.

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Nope...not OK, either. The Spanish wiped out every civilization they encountered in North and South America and systematically destroyed every written document they could get their greedy hands on. (None of the Native American cultures in North America had written records before 1600, so we don't know most of what was lost.)

 

My point was to remind that the Spanish silver and gold coins were made at an extraordinary cost to the indigenous peoples.

 

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There is NO justification for genocide, slavery, or cultural annihilation. Furthermore, ANY person or persons claiming to follow Jesus Christ in essence denies him and his teachings if they endorse and partake in any of the aforementioned atrocities. Such people twist the teachings of Christ to justify their own hatred.

 

That said, raw history as a series of events is in and of itself amoral. History in this sense, "just is" and cannot be changed. We can never undo the events of history. The morality of those events enters into the equation in the interpretation of history. It is in the interpretation that we judge whether an event is good or evil.

 

This is where history becomes instructive, and only IF you have the courage to embrace the truth. The trouble is that often times when we look at ourselves in the mirror we deny that we or our ancestors had any part in history's atrocities. In so doing we allow all those evil events to repeat themselves and continue to this very day. Yes there are people in the bondage of slavery today, and yes there is also genocide. The problem has been and will always be human nature, regardless of the ancestry. In taking into account all of history, I believe that there is NO culture that is pure and without blood. Again, this is no excuse to commit atrocities, but a statement of fact.

 

Now coins in and of themselves are also amoral. They in essence are only stamped and refined minerals pulled from the earth. However, in the context of historical interpretation, they take on a moral nature. Take for instance the coins featured in this thread. The raw materials may have been stolen, but these coins also became the mainstay currency of colonial America. Therefore, the coins themselves are amoral, but the context in which they were obtained and used can be interpreted in a number of ways throughout history.

 

Does the owning of these coin make one complicit in past atrocities? I say no. Although from a personal standpoint I will not collect the coins of Nazi Germany. Do I believe those that do are complicit in Nazi atrocities? No I do not. However, I believe the collecting of these coins as historical artifacts is important, if for no other reason than to serve as a moral lesson from history that we may or may not choose to learn from.

 

As many of you know, I write extensively about history and the role of coinage in it. I have so far learned much in my studies of history and found the things RWB talks about to be true, much to my shame. But rather than gloss over the glaring hypocrisies of some of the people from my European heritage, I choose rather to learn from history and adjust my life accordingly. Therefore, my study of the role of coinage in human history continues.

Gary

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