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Spanish milled coins comprised a large percentage of the money that circulated in the American colonies. Their importance as a medium of exchange for the colonists cannot be underestimated. In fact, until 1857, all Spanish coins were legal tender in the United States. The Spanish 8 Reales (also known as the “Piece of Eight”) was perhaps the most important coin of all and was the basis for the U.S. Silver Dollar. The 2 Reales was equivalent to our Quarter Dollar and the 4 Reales (a scarce denomination) was equivalent to our Half Dollar. Even the 1 Real (at an odd 12-1/2 cents) was an important part of America’s monetary system. Completing this set is relatively easy due to the several sources of Spanish Colonial silver coins, but finding these coins in high grade is a challenge.
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