A quartered Spanish real, minted in the Americas between 1700 and 1746

This cut silver coin found in 2017 is one of the more rare coins in the Jamestown collection, as we only have two! Although only one quarter of the coin is present, there are some important marks and letters present that have helped in its identification. On the Reverse side, the letters “PANIA” can be seen. The word that is missing would have been HISPANIARUM, our first clue that this is a Spanish coin. The coin is missing some letters that would help to identify its type, but based on its manufacture, design, and size, this coin is a Two Reale.  

On the Obverse side, the letters “HS * V * D” are seen. The first part of this lettering is missing but would have spelled PHS*V, which stands for Philip V, who was King of Spain between 1683-1646. Philip V is associated with coins minted between 1700-1746. Even though this cut coin is missing its more specific date, the years of this coin’s mint help to narrow down the date of its manufacture. Also seen on the obverse side is a mint mark. Mint marks are useful for identifying the exact location where coins were made. The mint mark on this coin is seen just to the left of the coat of arms on the obverse side. It is a small image of an aqueduct, the mark used to represent the mint in Segovia, Spain.

The aqueducts in Segovia are one of the best preserved Roman aqueducts, and their importance to the city is clear from their inclusion in Segovia’s coat of arms. The aqueduct symbol was first used as Segovia’s mint mark in the 1400s, and continued to be used and refined at Segovia’s Royal Mill Mint, Spain’s most technologically advanced mint, until about 1700. The building where this coin was minted still stands! It is one of the oldest extant industrial buildings in Spain.