Spanish 1 Kilo Silver Coin Features Historic Coins

21 May 2019  Tue

On 29th April, Spain released a one-kilo pure-silver coin featuring different historic coins that were circulated in Spain and the Americas. It is the second such coin in a special series that was introduced in 2017. The first coin from the series featured large silver pieces from the Americas which were the predecessors of silver dollars. Many coins depicted on the latest coin were circulated in the Hispanic territory. They belong to a time period that ranges from the economic and political unification under the Romans till the beginning of the 21st Century. Some were issued within the territory while others were issued under foreign occupation.

The obverse side depicts the following coins:

The first coin is a gold tremis of Visigoths from the Kingdom of Toledo. By the early 8th century, these coins were issued in various types depicting different legends. The obverse depicts a front-facing portrait of the king along with the legend: + RECCAREDVS REX. The reverse also depicts the same portrait along with the mint’s legend and the royal epithet: + TOLETO PIVS. The second one is a bronze coin from the city of Bilbilis. The obverse features a man’s head while the reverse depicts an Iberian horseman holding a weapon. The city name is also featured on the reverse in the province’s alphabet.

The third coin depicts a silver peseta. Queen Isabel II lost her powers after the revolution of 1868 and the Provisional Government wanted to change the Spanish monetary system. Spain wanted to be a part of the Latin Monetary Union promoted by Napoleon III from December 1865. The union was formed by France, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland. Greece had joined the union in 1868 and unofficially by Spain. A new monetary system was created in October 1868 to celebrate the Cadiz uprising.

The fourth coin is the famous Real de a ocho. King Carlos I wanted to introduce a stable silver currency in 1497 to promote world trade. During that time, a lot of silver was discovered in the Americas and a large number of coins were minted. They were later termed as real de a ocho. They made a big impact on the world’s silver economy for many centuries. They were circulated in Spain until the reign of Isabel II.

The obverse side also features a portrait of King Don Felipe VI wearing the insignia of Captain General. Other inscriptions include the legends UNIDADES MONETARIAS ESPANOLAS and FELIPE VI REY DE ESPANA.

The Reverse side depicts the following coins:

The first one is an orichalcum sesterce of Hadrian. It was a divisor of the silver denarius and was struck in silver initially. Later, it became the lowest divisor in silver and was minted as the highest multiple in bronze. The obverse side depicts the emperor’s bust with cuirass, mantle, and laurel wreath, and the legend IMP CAESAR DIVI TRAIAN AVG F TRAIAN HADRIAN OPT AVG GER. The reverse depicts Concordia seated on a throne, holding a patera in her right hand. Other inscriptions include ONCORDIA and S.C. The second part of the legend is depicted on the obverse: DAC PARTHICO PM TR P COS PP.

The second coin is the Roman Republic as, meaning “bronze” in Latin. It comes from the Latin aerarium, the place where bronze coins, or asses, were kept in Rome. The obverse features the two-faced Roman god, Janus. The reverse side depicts a commonly found symbol of a ship’s prow and the value sign I.

The third coin is a Carolingian silver dinero of Louis the Pious, introduced by Charlemagne in 793. This coin was circulated for hundreds of years in the West. Silver content was gradually reduced. Finally, dineros de vellon was minted in an alloy made of silver and copper. The obverse features a Greek cross and the legend: + HLVDOVICVS IMP, while the mint’s name is featured in three lines on the reverse: BAR / CINO / NA (Barcelona).

The fourth coin is a Dirham of Abd al-Rahman I from Umayyad Dynasty in al-Andalus. The silver dirham was used for transactions on a large scale, but smaller divisors were not available. The coin was broken up for small transactions. The obverse side depicts the kalmia while the reverse features the Surah of the Quran.

The reverse side features two Hercules’ columns and the motto PLUS ULTRA. Other inscriptions include the Real Casa de la Moneda mintmark, a crowned “M”, legend ESPANA 2019 and face value 300 EURO.

The 1,007 grams .999 Silver Proof coin with a face value of 300 Euro, has a diameter of 100 mm and a mintage limit of 500 pieces. Every coin is numbered from 001 to 500 on its smooth edge. They are packaged in a wooden case along with a numbered certificate of authenticity.

Image Courtesy: The Royal Mint of Spain

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