MEXICO Philip II 1556-98 1 real


MEXICO, Philip II, 1556-98, 1 real, no date (1572-90?), Obverse: crowned arms, M-O, Reverse: castles and lions, silver, 21-23mm, 3.11g, ACC3480+, outer legends mostly not present, hole, F

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The hand struck coins of the early Spanish colonies are nicknamed “cobs” by collectors. The origin of the term are unknown and subject to speculation.

Philip II of Spain ruled the Holy Roman Empire, Spain and its possessions, and Portugal and its possessions, more or less the largest batch of territory ever to have been assembled until then. It didn’t last, of course. He was very fond of making war against Protestants, and spent all of the gold and silver he obtained from the New World on that hobby, sending the state into bankruptcy several times.

Because of all of the silver and gold the Spanish colonialists found in Latin America Spain was able to prosecute the wars of the Counter-reformation. They built nice buildings for themselves but otherwise neglected local development. Mexico in particular was rich in resources and people, and was an economic power in the world. By that I mean that for about 300 years world trade was done mostly in what they called, back then, “Spanish dollars.” The vast majority of those were Mexican.

The North America category: the big three, the Central American nations, and a bunch of island nations and other political entities in the Caribbean Sea. Greenland we’re putting with Europe. By that criterion we should put Martinique and Aruba with Europe too, but we’re not. I’m not even sure why. Doesn’t matter anyway. Almost all of you are searching for modern coins by country, not by region.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.