Denomination: 1/2 Reales
Mint: Potosi, Peru
Weight: 0.95 grams
Mount: 14K gold - accented with a .07 ct emerald and 14K gold Manatee charm
Description: One Silver 1/2 Reales coin irregularly shaped and neatly struck, center on Cross side. Features Jerusalem Cross with Castles and Lions visible in all but three quadrants of the cross. Obverse shows King Philip Iv's monogram across field, assayer's mark and mint mark clearly visible. Some pearl border visible.
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 Mint 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.