1721 “Cut” Spanish Silver Reale found at Willowbrook

Description

This is a “cut” Spanish Silver Reale found in the pictured hole at Willowbrook Plantation / Byrnside’s Fort.  Comparing the design to a whole Reale we acquired, we were able to identify it as a 1721 minting – probably from one of the Spanish mints in Central or South America.

People are surprised to learn that we find 18th century Spanish coins on frontier sites in the mountains of West Virginia.  But you have to remember, that we didn’t have United States coinage until 1793, so European coins were often used.  Some of the colonies minted their own.  But the best “cash” of the day was good 0’le Spanish Silver – looted from Central and South America.

This is what it would have looked like, whole:

 

Not for sale.  In the Scavengeology Museum collection.

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