8 Reales Madness


With the discovery of precious metals in the New World, the standard of currency went to Spanish coinage, particularly the de a ocho reales "pieces of eight", a silver coin, immediate forebear of the US dollar and the Mexican peso. The pieces of eight was called the Spanish Dollar in the United States, where it remained legal tender in much of the pre-Civil War era of the Republic. Ferdinand and Isabella, Spanish monarchs famous for financing Columbus's expedition in search of a western route to the Indies, introduced the de a ocho reales as a part of a plan to furnish Spain with a unified coinage system. Reales, Spanish for royal, was sometimes called a 'bit' in English, which explains why a quarter is two bits, or three quarters six bits. The term bits is a reference to a practice of cutting a pieces of eight into eight bits, which circulated as coins. Charles V spread the Spanish coinage system in Europe, where the pieces of eight was equal in value to the Bohemian or Saxon Thaler. In the United States it became the dollar.

The coinage of New Spain and Mexico runs into billions, and their pieces of eight and pesos served as the standard medium of exchange in the United States, the Philippines, China, and many European markets. The first, or Continental currency of the United States of America, was made payable in Spanish milled dollars. The Mexican peso and its subdivisions were legal tender in US until February 21, 1857, when by Act of Congress, all laws authorizing its circulation and acceptance were repealed. Up to June 30, 1862, the sum of $2,103,275 in Mexican coins had been accepted by the United States Federal offices. (Annual Report of the Director of the Mint, for the Fiscal year ending June 30, 1862, p.35)

User Order Image PCGS # Description Grade Pop Pop Higher Comments


wow...how long did it take to complete..........

Posted at 8/3/2021 2:48 AM by EL VERDUGO

Try and stop me, Clio =)

Posted at 1/21/2021 2:55 AM by TwoKopeiki

Awesome set man! Keep it going!

Posted at 10/14/2020 10:26 AM by Clio

Bill, jriggs - thank you for taking the time to look through the set and comment!

Posted at 9/25/2020 6:05 PM by TwoKopeiki


Posted at 9/25/2020 5:37 PM by Bill "Old Coin Dawg"

Amazing set

Posted at 9/16/2020 6:58 AM by jriggs7861

Thanks everyone! @Aspie-Rocco - it's definitely nowhere close to being finished ;)

Posted at 9/3/2020 7:47 PM by TwoKopeiki

What a collection of coins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted at 9/3/2020 3:55 PM by DonaldMc

Just a few words to say It´s an excellent collection

Posted at 7/25/2020 5:05 AM by romanose05

Coingratulations on completing such an amazing collection!

Posted at 5/20/2020 12:09 AM by Aspie-Rocco

Amazing stuff. I use your set as the gold standard for this material. Bravo!

Posted at 4/17/2020 4:03 PM by Larry Stendebach

Fantastic set!

Posted at 3/25/2020 8:35 PM by Eldorado

Thanks folks! @BB - 1778 and 45 other coins in the 1772-1821 complete date/variety run!

Posted at 3/25/2020 7:14 PM by TwoKopeiki


Posted at 3/24/2020 11:16 PM by AJBRAMI

Holy Cow that is a nice set! The 1786, 1787 and 1789 Carolus III pieces make for one heck of a trio!

Posted at 3/24/2020 6:57 PM by tbnumismatics

Wonderful set Roman! Now go find a 1778-Mo!

Posted at 3/24/2020 4:00 PM by BB

Sign in to add a comment