Atocha Coin Denomination




Atocha Coin Denomination



The silver coins are referred to as "pieces of eight" and were measured in reales. Gold coins were measured in escudos and were referred to as "doubloons". The term doubloon originally came from the word "double" for a two escudo coin. Two pieces of eight equaled a one-escudo coin or a sixteen-to-one ratio between gold and silver bullion. A common working man, in the 17th century, had to work one month to earn one piece of eight.

Denominations of the coins were based on the "Onza" or avoirdupois ounce equaling 28 grams. Each denomination was to equal one-half of the next higher denomination. Variations in weight were common. The denomination of the coins was often stamped on the right-hand side of the shield. The numbers on south American cobs are written in Roman numerals in the old Spanish script used for accounting. Mexican and Screw Press coin denominations were displayed in Arabic numerals.



Atocha Coins