The mint standards were set by the Spanish crown and until 1686 the coinage of Spain and of the Indies (Spanish America) were identical, save in two respects. A minor difference was that coins minted in America were inscribed REX HISPANIARVM ET INDIARVM (king of the Spains and the Indies), while those minted in Spain had only REX HISPANIARVM. The major difference was that vellón or copper coins were not minted for circulation in the Spanish American colonies, while after 1602 the currency of Spain itself consisted chiefly of copper coin.
Although Mexico and Peru were the chief source of the world's silver, after 1620 silver was always at a premium in Spain and vellón constituted the accounting unit and the chief medium of exchange (the cuarto also became a common accounting unit). The silver flowed through Spain in a steady stream to pay for imports, wars, and imperial expansion.
Philip IV reformed Spain's monetary system in 1686 by debasing the silver coinage, which had been unchanged since 1497. This reform applied only to coins minted in Spain. The coinage of the American colonies, which had already assumed great importance in international trade, was left untouched, and the 1497 silver standard continued in use (until 1728). From this time on, the monetary systems and currencies of Spain and of Spanish America developed differently.
Coins were defined by monetary regulations as so many minted per mark weight and of a certain minimum fineness. The mint mark used was the mark of Castile. It originated when Alfonso X (1252–1284) replaced the Roman pound (libra) with the Cologne mark. Spanish numismatists usually use the weight of this mark as determined in 1799, i.e. 230·0465 grams. The measure of fineness (ley in Spanish) for gold was 24 quilates (carats), each of 4 granos (grains); the measure for silver was 12 dineros, each of 24 granos.
|real||67||11d 4gr||3·433||·9305||3·195 g|
|peso||8⅜||11d 4gr||27·468||·9305||25·561 g|
|real||68||11d 0gr||3·383||·9166||3·101 g|
|peso||8½||11d 0gr||27·064||·9166||24·809 g|
|real||68||10d 20gr||3·383||·9028||3·054 g|
|peso||8½||10d 20gr||27·064||·9028||24·433 g|
|real||68||10d 18gr||3·383||·8958||3·031 g|
|peso||8½||10d 18gr||27·064||·8958||24·245 g|
|escudo||68||21q 2·5gr||3·383||·9010||3,048·257 mg|
|onza||8½||21q 2·5gr||27·064||·9010||24,386·057 mg|
Read more about this topic: Currency Of Spanish America
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