Authentic Spanish Cob - 2 Reales - Assayer "T" (Tapia)

Denomination: 2 Reales

Mint: Potosi, Peru

Assayer: "T" Juan Ximenez de Tapia. 

Reign: Philip III

Weight: 6.57 grams

Artifact Number: Cob-13

History: Early cob coins, produced before the reign of King Philip III were well-rounded and neatly struck. They were produced at the New World Mints in Lima, Potosi, Colombia, and Mexico City. When the Mints first opened under the Spanish Crown, the Mint Master took great pride in the quality and condition of each hand-struck coin. A great deal of time and attention to detail was spent on hand-engraving steel dies used to strike each coin, with symbols significant to the geo-political landscape of that time period. The special attention to detail was costly due to the number of steel dies used to impress the symbols seen on Spanish cobs, and the time taken to engrave near perfect dies. The ability to create a nearly perfect coin was considered a sign of great respect for the sitting king. As Spain entered world conflicts, many of which required financial support, the quality of these hand-struck pieces lacked while the quantity grew, and coins were mass produced by hand until the invention of the Screw Press Mechanism in 1732.