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(DM 226) The Golden Age of Piracy 8x10

Price: $35.00
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Product Description

With Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World, Spain gained control of a vast overseas empire with great riches. The Spanish crown needed treasure to fund the frequent wars that depleted the royal coffers. In time the area Spain controlled became known as the Spanish Main.

After Hernando Cortez conquered Mexico in 1519, the Spanish used native Indians to mine the gold and silver in South and Central America. The metals were refined and made into coins. Some coins were cut from bars into pieces called 'cobs' (cut off the bars). Other gold and silver coins were made from rolled sheets and blanks using crude dies and presses. Thousands of tons of gold and silver were shipped to Spain.

Between 1492 and 1830 the New World produced 4,035,156,000 gold and silver pesos. Carried in the holds of the treasure fleets, these riches drew pirates and privateers. Each year fleets of Spanish ships departed from Havana, Cuba for the return trip to Spain. These Spanish fleets sailed north and east until they reached the latitude of forty degrees. The fleets then turned east across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain. The journey lasted two months.

Each year the Spanish fleets departed from New World to Spain. However, greater was the risk of encountering a hurricane somewhere along the narrow passage between the Bahama banks and the Florida reefs. When one of the oldest and richest of the treasure galleons sank in 1641, more than forty years passed before the wrecks were discovered and partially recovered.

During the Golden Age of Piracy, gold was recovered both from wrecks and attacks on the Spanish treasure fleets and their galleons guarded the king's coffers bound for Spain. A single captured prize could make a pirate rich. As stalwart as the galleon appeared, she was actually quite fragile when pitted against Mother Nature.  

Spanish gold doubloons in the New World were manufactured or minted in four denominations. The 8 escudo gold doubloon equaled one ounce of gold; the 4 escudo piece equaled 1/2 ounce of gold; the 2 escudo doubloon equaled ¼ ounce of gold. One escudo piece was 1/8 ounce of gold.

This Historical Replica Set includes four double side replica gold coins. These are made of lead free pewter and gold plated. Each coin is  marked COPY on the  reverse as required by the Hobby Protection Act.

Manufacturer Description

For nearly 300 years, Spain extracted huge quantities of gold and silver from its New World possessions. An approximated 447 million pesos were sent out to Spain from 1503 to 1660. The Spanish treasury got 20 % or 177 million pesos. The balance was paid to the merchants and investors. One peso was equal to one silver eight reale piece. The 'piece of eight,' a Spanish silver dollar, stayed legal tender for commerce in the United States until 1857. In 1535, Spain established a mint in Mexico City to make coins in the New World. All silver coin are denominated as silver reales. Gold coins are called escudos. One gold 8 escudo coin weighs 27 grams - the exact same weight as the silver 'piece of eight.' Each eight gold escudo coin is worth 2 silver peso coins. Spain's earliest source of gold and silver treasure came from robbery. Cortez's beat the Aztecs in 1521 and delivered huge quantities of gold and silver artifacts to Spain. In 1531, Pizarro beat the Incas and began shipments gold and silver artifacts valued at over 1 million pesos per year. By 1545, most of Spain's precious metals came from three sources in the New World. Silver was mined in New Spain (Mexico). Unrefined bullion coins, cut from bars of silver and stamped, were struck at the Mexico City mint and delivered from Vera Cruz to Spain. The 2nd source of silver was Potosi, and Peru. Cob type bullion coins were produced and delivered to Panama. The bullion was carried over land to Porto Bello and Nombre de Dios waiting for transport to Spain. The 3rd source of precious metals remained in Nueva Granada. Gold was panned from riverbeds by native servants and formed into bullion. The gold was transportedto the port of Cartagena for delivery to Spain. These consist of gold replicas of eight gold cobs (cut from bars of gold.). The collection consists of coins from 1713, and 1714 recuperated in the wreck of the Spanish Gold Fleet of 1715.

Product Features

  • Pirate Coins
  • Includes Detailed Descriptions
  • Historical Spanish Treasure Coin Set
  • Cast in Lead Free Pewter
  • Coins Marked COPY on Reverse
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