Denomination: 1/2 Reales
Mint: Mexico City
Reign: Carlos II
Assayer: Not Visible
Date: Circa 17th Century
Non-Shipwreck "Macuquina" Spanish cob coin mounted in 18k gold
HIstory: Shortly after Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, the use of silver coins became widely utilized throughout the Spanish colonies. Under the reign of Isabella and Ferdinand II, 1474-1504, the Spanish provinces of Sicily, Leon, and Castile were united against the Moors to unify Spain. Their daughter Catherine, was the first wife of Henry VIII of England.
Every coin that was used in the New World was actually minted in Spain and then shipped to the colonies, until 1536. Mexico City possessed the first mint that issued coins for circulation in the New World during that year. Mexico City was the second largest producer of these silver coins, behind the mint in Potosi, Peru. Each coin minted in Mexico City under the Spanish Empire features Mexico City's signature cross; the fleur-de-lis blooming at the end of the arms of the cross, embraced inside a Moorish quatrefoil tressure.
The Lions of Leon, and the Castles of Castile, are apparent in each quadrant of the Cross, symbolizing the two unified provinces under the Spanish crown that elevated Spain to be the most influential country in the world for almost four centuries.
Each of these silver coins, which were called "macuquina," (cob in English), carries it's own unique story to impart. The finished cob is called a "macuquina" in Spanish, a word believed to be derived from the Quechua language of the Incas.
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