Pirates' Treasure - a Piece of Eight

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Pirates' Treasure - a Piece of Eight

A "piece of eight" - this is apparently from Mexico but the year is not clearly marked. My late husband was a treasure hunter and this was something he picked up in the Caribbean in the 1950s. Pieces of eight are historical Spanish dollar coins minted in the Americas from the late 15th century through the 19th century. Made of silver, they were in nearly worldwide circulation by the late 19th century and were legal currency in the United States until 1857. The Spanish dollar coin was worth eight reales and could be physically cut into eight pieces, or "bits," to make change -- hence the colloquial name "pieces of eight." The dollar coin could also be cut into quarters, and "two bits" became American slang for a quarter dollar, or 25 cents. The American dollar used today was based on the Spanish dollar. Pieces of eight have long been associated with pirates, because they were a common target for the outlaws, as large amounts were regularly shipped from the American colonies to Spain. It invokes imaginings of pirates, swashbucklers, treasure hunters and a romantic bygone age.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 21:22 on 23 September 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Thrilled that this subject is to be covered tomorrow and very much looking forward to hearing more about it.

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Location

Mexico

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
3.5cm
W:
3.5cm
D:
0.3cm
Colour
Material

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