Provincial Coinage

Table of contents

Following the end of the war of Spanish Succession in 1713, the new king Philip V had to face the problem that Spanish silver and gold coins were exported abroad and melted, as their finesse and weight were higher than their equivalent in Europe.

On 31 October 1716, by Royal Order, the finesse and weight of silver peninsular coins is reduced to prevent precious metal from going abroad.

Provincial Coinage

This new coinage was called provincial coinage, been used only for inland trade in the peninsula, as opposed to coins struck in the American Colonies, that maintained the old standard destined to the so called international trade.

The provincial coinage was struck in the Royal Mints of Cuenca, Madrid, Segovia and Seville, in values of minor coinage, but the larger values were only minted in 1718 in Seville.

A new Royal Order in 1728, changes the design of the American Colonies coinage to the pillar dollar type and declares the value of the new coin peso or 8 reales for international trade.

Lote 205. 8 reales 1718 Sevilla
E-Auction 64. Lot 205. Philip V (1700-1746). 8 reales. 1718. Sevilla. M. (Cal-1617). Ag. 23,46 g. Three fleurs de lis on the shield of Burgundy. Scarce.

By the same order, the larger values of peninsular mints should have the same weight and finesse as the American Pillar Dollar, leaving as provincial coinage for internal trade only the minor coins.

Accordingly, the 4 and 8 reales of Seville, minted in 1718, were the only struck with 12 grams and 24 grams weight respectively. In 1726, those coins were demonetized and melted, to avoid confusion, as their weight was lower than their equivalent, so they are rarer than similar later emissions.

Did you like the post? Share it!