Authentic Spanish Cob - Private collection - 8 Reales - Reign of Philip V - Circa 1701-1759 - Clipped Cob

Denomination: 8 Reales

Reign: Philip V

Date: Not visible (circa 1701-1759)

Mint: Not Visible

Weight: 16.59 gm

Grade: XF - Clipped

Description: Philip V - ND (1701-1759)-L XF (Clipped).  Obverse: Bold Jerusalem Cross side. Partial visible Lions and Castles in 4 quadrants. Reverse: Partially visible Pillar and Wave design. Some legend visible.  Demomination of 8 Reales visible.

History: Without known documentation to confirm the existence of an official issue, these cut-down coins create a fascinating numismatic mystery that is believed to be structured around localized North African monetary standards. When studying pieces that have come to market, many from hoards (with some examples originating from Oran and Algeria), it is hypothesized that the pieces were not randomly clipped. A noteworthy pattern occurs when analyzing the clipped weights of both 8 Reales and 4 Reales Cob and/or milled issues; both are left with around 55-62% of their original official weight. After clipping, the 8 Reales is reduced to 15-17 grams of its official 27.1 grams weight while the 4 Reales is reduced to 7-8 grams of its official 13.55 grams. Furthermore, the lack of counter-stamping or a specific shape can indicate a makeshift-type of regulation where local bankers cut the coins themselves, thus following the weight of a local monetary system. Some have linked these cut-issues to the Tripoli 1773 30 Para issues (15-16 grams), that circulated in the Barbary coast of North Africa. This would coincide chronologically, as almost all the cut coins are 18th century or earlier. Overall, a fascinating riddle that is yet to be solved by historians and numismatists alike.