Coin of Philip III of Spain

14 Apr 2021  Wed

Philip III was King of Spain. He was also, as Philip II, King of Portugal, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia and Duke of Milan from 1598 until his death in 1621.

A member of the House of Habsburg, Philip III was born in Madrid to King Philip II of Spain and his fourth wife and niece Anna, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain. Philip III later married his cousin Margaret of Austria, sister of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.

He is characterized by a successful peaceful foreign policy in Western Europe and internally by the expulsion of the Moriscos (Christians of Moorish ancestry) and government by the king’s favourites. In particular, Philip's reliance on his corrupt chief minister, the Duke of Lerma, drew much criticism at the time and afterwards. For many, the decline of Spain can be dated to the economic difficulties that set in during the early years of his reign. Philip's reign remains a critical period in Spanish history.

Philip's attempts to issue new currency – in particular the issues of the copper velon coinage in 1603–04, 1617 and 1621 – simply created considerable instability. His coins depict crowned bust of the king on its obverse face.

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