This is an original Spanish gold 4 escudos coin, minted in Spain during the reign of King Philip IV. The obverse of this coin displays a Jerusalem cross with quatrefoils in each angle. The reverse displays the royals arms of the 'House of Habsburg', both obverse and reverse are double struck, due to the size of the coin dies (and the sheer brute force needed to hand hammer the gold blank during the minting process).
Philip ruled during the "Golden Age of Spain" with territories and colonies in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceana. Under the Spanish Habsburgs rule in the 16th & 17th centuries, Spain reached the peak of its political and economic strength when its Empire became the foremost global power.
With the discovery of untold riches that were mined in the Americas, the Spanish became the premier supplier of gold and silver coins for the world. Although Spain’s mighty armada strove diligently to deliver the wealth to the King, both pirates and bad weather became such obstacles that many galleons were lost at sea.
Spanish gold coinage of this historical period was decreed by the King to be 22 carats and was hand struck from dies and cut to weight. Minted in five denominations in gold, the largest was the eight escudo, however, the 2 escudo was famous in the colonies and among pirates as a "doubloon”. A common working man at this time would have to work 4 months to earn a single doubloon.
This coin is pierced for use as a pendant, divers often do this with personal wreck recovered treasure but I have no provenance with this example!
DENOMINATION: Escudos 4 (Cob)
CULTURE: Baroque Spain
DATE: 1630- 1647 A.D.
MATERIAL: Gold 22k
SIZE: 26.87mm x 25.90mm
WEIGHT: 13.27 grams
ATTRIBUTION: KM16, cf. Cay-6740
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