Private Collection Spanish Cob - 4 Reales - Sterling Silver Mount w/ 18k Gold Prongs

 Denomination: 4 Reales                                                                       

Date: NV

Mint: Mexico                                                                  

Assayer: NV

Mount: Sterling Silver with 18K Bezel

Description:  4 Reales Cob. Obverse: Clear Florendaza Cross with partially visible Lions and Castles in four quadrants. Reverse: Clearly visible Hapsburg Shield. 

History: The Spanish Empire of the 18th and early 19th centuries was the leading producer of most of the world's coinage. Important Spanish mints and mining operations were then established in the Viceroyalty of Peru as early as the 1500's. This area of Northern South America now consists of the countries, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia. Royal Spanish mints were also erected in Mexico City. Seventy percent of the world's gold and silver were produced in the colonies between the 1500's and 1700's. Spain's monetary system was so well accepted throughout the world that it became the world trade currency for three centuries. This elevated Spain to dominate world trade, however, Spain was heavily indebted to multiple countries due to years-long wars and intrigues, that much of this treasure passed through Spain and went directly to those countries she was indebted to.  During the reign of Isabella 1451-1504, there were seven public mint located in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Pamplona, Jubia, Segovia, and Manila (Philippines)- each mint with its own cypher and symbols. By 1869, only the Royal Mint in Madrid was in operation.