Date: Circa 1600's
Denomination: 1/2 Reales
Mount: Sterling Silver
Note: Private Collection
History: The history of Lima, the capital of Peru, began with its foundation by Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535. The city was established on the valley of the Rímac River in an area populated by the Ichma polity. It became the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and site of a Real Audiencia in 1543.
The first coins in the modern sense (i.e., means of payment and store of value) that circulated in Peru were brought by the Spanish conquerors in 1532. The creation of a mint responded to the growing pace of business and the importance of mining —especially silver, the raw material for coins. King, Philip II, established a mint at Lima, Peru in 1565 by royal edict. In 1568, production began of silver “cobs” (crudely shaped coins cut from the ends of silver ingots). In 1659, the Lima Mint added gold “escudos” to their lineup.