Real of Eight – Real de a ocho and Global Currency

Piece of Eight – The First Global Currency – Real de a Ocho It was the first global currency that preceded the British gold pound sterling and also the United States dollar. It was widely used and its hegemony in world trade extended for more than 300 years. Americans relied on his model to develop their own dollar, called the Spanish dollar or Spanish pillar dollar. The political protagonism, the historical projection and the prestige of Spain as a great …

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Ancient Mint Assayers in Spanish America

Mint Assayers in Colonial Times  

Places of Coinage, Assayers, Masters of the Mint  and Judges of Balance

Assayers in Spanish America

Each coin identifies the place of coinage and also the person responsible for the law of the coin (purity and weight) called the assayer. Usually the initials of the names were used and could be one or two assayers by minting. In the case of Philippines well into the nineteenth century also included the person responsible for balance. This is an example of how to identify these signs in coins.

Master mint Assayers - Argentine Ancient Coin 1815
Master Mint Assayers

Potosi: PS             Assayer  L Leandro Ozio  Value: ( Reales):

Assayers and Masters of Mints

The assayers were the artisans and those in charge and responsible for the law (purity) and weight of the metal, so they left their mark on the mint. These are some data on places of minting and initial assayers

Assayer =A  /  Reales= R

A 8 R 4 R 2 R 1 R 1/2 R

Mexico  M

FM 1772-1778
1772 -1777
1784 -1801
FF 1777-1784 1778-1784 1778-1784
FT 1801-1803 1801-1803 1801-1803 1801-1803 1801-1803
TH 1803-1810 1804-1808
1804-1813 1804-1810 1803-1810
HJ 1809-1813 1809-1812 1810-1813 1810-1815 1810-1813
JJ 1812-1821 1816-1821 1812-1821 1812-1821 1813-1821

Peru LM or LIMAE

JM 1762-1774 1762-1773 1762-1773 1762-1773
MJ 1773-1780 1773-1780 1774-1780 1773-1780 1773-1780
MI 1780-1787 1780-1787 1780-1788 1780-1787 1780-1787
IJ 1787-1803 1787-1803 1787-1804 1787-1804 1787-1803
JP 1803-1824 1804-1821 1803-1823 1803-1823 1803-1821

Potosi (Bolivia)   PS or PTS

JR 1770-1776 1770-1776 1770-1776 1770-1776 1770-1776
PR 1776-1795 1776-1795 1776-1795 1776-1795 1776-1795
PP 1795-1802 1795-1802 1795-1802 1795-1803 1795-1802
PJ 1803-1824 1803-1825 1803-1825 1803-1824 1803-1824
JL 1825 1825 1825 1825 1823- 1825
 J   1824-1825 1825 1825    
1813 1813 1813 1813 1813
 L  1815 1815 1815 1815 1815
FL 1815 1815 1815 1815 1815

Santiago (Chile)  S

DA 1790        
FJ 1809        

Chiloe (Chile)  Chi-loe  Over Potosi

PJ 1823        


G 1824        

Guatemala  G or NG

1768-1784 1768-1783 1768-1783 1768-1783 1768-1783
1785-1821 1785-1821 1785-1821 1785-1821 1785-1821

Nuevo Reino (Colombia)    

NR  Nuevo Reino Santa Fe de Bogotá 

JF 1809-1810 1809-1810 1809-1810 1809-1810 1809-1810

Popayan (Colombia)  P

JF 1803-1810        


Colonial Times Mint Assayers

Santiago (Chile) 1809  8 Reales FJ Francisco Rodriguez Brochero & Juan Maria de Bobadilla

As we have already had opportunity to comment, the death of a monarch had to wait a while for the arrival of its corresponding model of bust from the Peninsula. The case of Fernando VII is particular, its arrival to the throne in March of 1808 is accompanied with the Napoleonic invasion that forced the mints to make their own busts that we know as imaginary. In this case the dress is not Roman style but of time.


Santiago (Chile) 1809  8 Reales FJ Francisco Rodriguez Brochero & Juan Maria de Bobadilla
Santiago (Chile) 1809  8 Reales FJ


Santiago (Chile) 1790  8 Reales DA Domingo de Eyzaguirre y Agustin de Infante y Prado

Although Charles III had died on December 14, 1788, his bust continued to appear on the coins until 1791 at which time the official bust of the new monarch, Charles IV, was prepared. There are transitional pieces like the one in which only the ordinal of the king has been changed. The essay corresponded to Eyzaguirre and Infante responsible for the law in the first coinage of the new monarch.

Santiago (Chile) 1790  8 Reales DA

LIMA  (Peru).  8 reales.  IJ Ignacio Zenón de Gálvez y Juan Martínez de Roxas.

Very light lines of weight adjustment on the obverse. After the death of Carlos III in 1788 transicional types were minted with the ordinal IV waiting for the punzones of Madrid

  Master mint Assayers



LIMA ( Peru )  1762  8 escudos (oro) JM  .José Rodríguez Carasa y Manuel Iglesias Abarca

Real de a ocho - Assayers in spanish america Master mint Assayers

LIMA. 8 Escudos.   1771 JM  .José Rodríguez Carasa y Manuel Iglesias Abarca

 Master mint Assayers

Peru Lima (1808) 8 Reales  JP Juan Martínez de Roxas y Pablo Cano Melgarejo

First year of the imaginary bust of the mint of Lima. The portrait did not last more than four years and was coined in different sizes being the corresponding to 1808 the largest by far. The reason for the need to make imaginary portraits based on paintings from the Kingdom of Spain is none other than the Napoleonic invasion. The portraits of the monarchs arrived late to the colonies, which is why the portraits of Fernando VII were called until 1812 "Imaginarios". The portrait on which this bust was based was made in America by a local artist and that is why it is called Fernando VII the Inca or also known as bust of Indian.

Real de a ocho -Master mint Assayers

Other, Idem Assayer, Lima 1823 Over mint of PERU LIBRE

Master mint Assayers

Idem 1819

Master mint Assayers
Master of Mint Assayers

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