One of the ways to keep the new colony under control for the mother country was to command its currency. Usually the monarch or some other symbol of power from the initial country would be minted on these coins.
The coins would also bear symbols and other devices that would tie the coin to that colony. No country was more successful in colonial coinage than Spain. Their colonial coins are easy to identify; they used the Pillars of Hercules and the crest of the ruling family on many of the colonial coins. Their coins had the richest content of precious metals of all the worlds' coins during the colonial period.
There were twelve Spanish colonial mints: Mexico, Santo Domingo, Lima, La Plata, Potosi, Panama, Cartagena, Bogotá, Cuzco, Guatemala, Santiago, and Popayan. During Spain's almost 300 years of colonial rule the Spanish colonies produced a total of five different types of silver reales coins: pillar, shield, pillar and waves, milled pillar, and milled bust. Cob coins were minted at many Spanish Main Land and Spanish colonial New World mints. The crude coins, called "cobs" (from the Spanish word cabo), were hand-struck, irregularly shaped objects of various denominations in silver, copper, and gold. Cob-style coins are divided into two basic groups based on their obverse markings: the "pillars and waves-type" and the shield-type.Their reverses typically bear a cross or a quartered shield with the arms of Castile and Leon. Weight and fineness were primary considerations in coin production: after the metal was smelted, purified, and alloyed (this last to prevent brittleness), large strips were measured for proper thickness and cut into basic sizes corresponding to their denominations. The silver reales coins came in the denominations of: 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 reales. Further snipping and chiseling produced the requisite weight at the expense of the coin's visual integrity, and later unofficial alterations to the cobs were rampant.
On August 2, 1993 fifty miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, a small fishing trawler discovered coins in their fishing net. At a depth of 100 meters they had uncovered the final resting place of the long lost Spanish brig, El Cazador, and its treasure of Spanish 8 reale coins. In the late 1700s, the Port of New Orleans in Louisiana was the center of the Spanish Louisiana territory which encompassed most of the center of North America. The Louisiana territory was suffering great economic difficulty because of the American Revolutionary War between the American colonists and the government of Britain.
Vast quantities of near worthless paper currency were circulating in the territory. El Cazador sailed from Veracruz on January 11, 1784.It disappeared in the Gulf of Mexico and no information was known about its fate until the fishing trawler found the coins in 1993. The largest quantity of coins recovered was the 8 reale, also known as the Spanish milled dollar, or the Piece of eight.
The Spanish 8 reale coin was known all over the world in the 18th century and had become the first international trade coin. It was very common throughout the Americas and all over the Far East.
It was by far the most common silver coin found in China. The Spanish 8 reale coin was legal tender in the United States until 1857. Formal salvage operations to recover the coins did not begin until 2002.
On the coins obverse is a portrait of King Carlos III of Spain and the words; "DEI GRATIA" (by the grace of God). Under King Carlos rule, the kingdom of Spain prospered and he was considered to be one of the most effective leaders of all the Bourbon Kings. Below the portrait is the year the coin was minted. The inscription on the reverse of the coin reads HISPN.
REX (King of Spain and the Indies) followed by the Mexico City mintmark, the denomination 8R (8 reale), and the assayers initials at the time of minting. The central coat of arms displays the crowned shield of Castile and Leon (Castle & Lion). The shield includes three crosses at its center which signifies the Holy Trinity, and a pomegranate in tribute to the Spanish city of Granada. To either side of the coat of arms stand the Pillars of Hercules with the motto "PLUS VLTRA" (more beyond) on ribbons. Over 22,000 Positive Feedbacks.ANA Platinum Member, # 3163853. The item "1782 MO FF Mexico 8 Reales El Cazador 8R Shipwreck Coin, NGC Certified, Very Good" is in sale since Thursday, April 5, 2018. This item is in the category "Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ World\Europe\Spain". The seller is "caz-10" and is located in Diamondhead, Mississippi. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, Indonesia, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Singapore, Norway, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Dominican republic, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, El salvador, Honduras, Jamaica.