16th century Spanish Cob
weighs 6.15 grams
The first real was introduced by King Pedro I of Castile at a value of 3 maravedíes . This rate of exchange increased until 1497, when the real was fixed at a value of 34 maravedíes. The famous Peso de a Ocho ("piece of eight" is referred to the value of 8 Reales = 1 Silver Peso) also known as Spanish dollar , was issued that same year, and it later became widespread in America and Asia. In 1566, the gold escudo was introduced, worth 16 reales. The "Peso de a ocho" or "Piece of eight" is a one-ounce silver coin, not to be confused with the minor coins: 4 Reales, 2 Reales, 1 Real and the little (half inch diameter) Half Real.
During this period, Spanish coinage became popular in international trade and commerce, and remained so for centuries.
In 1642, two distinct reales were created, the real de plata (made of silver ) and the real de vellón (made of billon , or "less than half silver"). The exchange rate between these two coins was set at 2 reales de vellón = 1 real de plata. The maravedí was tied to the real de vellón, causing the real de plata to be worth 68 maravedíes. The gold escudo was worth 16 reales de plata.
Mint State Perfect Un-circulated (MS-70) Mint state un-circulated coin in perfect condition, showing no traces of wear, and no blemishes, scratches, handling or contact with other coins. The best quality coin possible.
Choice (Gem) Un-circulated (MS-65-69) An above average un-circulated coin which retains all of the original mint brilliance or luster, and has a very few contact marks on the surface or rim, which are barely noticeable.
Brilliant Un-circulated or BU (MS-60-64) An un-circulated coin having no traces of wear but which has a few contact marks, surface spotting or lacks some of its original luster.
Choice About Un-circulated (AU-55 & 58)
A coin having very light wear on only the highest points of the design but no other defects and with most of its luster remaining.
About Un-circulated (AU-50) Coin has evidence of light wear on many of the high points but at least half of the mint luster is still present.
Extremely Fine (EF-40)
The coin design is lightly worn in most places but all the features remain sharp and well defined.
Choice Very Fine (VF-30)
Light even wear on the surface and highest parts of the design but most major features and the lettering are sharp.
Very Fine (VF-20)
Minor features such as some of the finer hair detail, feathers, etc. will be moderately worn. Shows moderate wear on high points of design. All major details are clear.
Moderate to considerable even wear over most features and the lettering. A lot of the details are worn through but you can still see a good deal of the design.
Very Good (VG-8)
The entire design is weak, but a few details are visible. Well worn throughout but coin rims still visible.
Heavily worn but design and legend still visible although quite weak in spots. Many details are gone.
About Good (AG-3)
Very heavily worn with portions of lettering, date and legends worn smooth and barely discernable.
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