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Doubloon

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Spanish 4-doubloon, or doubloon of 8 escudos, stamped as minted in Mexico city mint in 1798. Obverse: Carol.IIII.D.G. Hisp.et Ind.R. Reverse:.in.utroq.felix. .auspice.deo.fm.
Spanish 4-doubloon, or doubloon of 8 escudos, stamped as minted in Mexico city mint in 1798. Obverse: Carol.IIII.D.G. Hisp.et Ind.R. Reverse:.in.utroq.felix. .auspice.deo.fm.

The doubloon (from Spanish doblón, or "double", i.e. double escudo) was a two-escudo gold coin worth approximately $4 (four Spanish dollars) or 32 reales,[1] and weighing 6.766 grams (0.218 troy ounce) of 22-karat gold (or 0.917 fine; hence 6.2 g fine gold).[2][3] Doubloons were minted in Spain and the viceroyalties of New Spain, Peru, and Nueva Granada (modern-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela). As the Spanish escudo succeeded the heavier gold excelente (or ducado, ducat; 3.1 g vs 3.48 g fine gold) as the standard Spanish gold coin, the doubloon therefore succeeded the doble excelente or double-ducat denomination.

In modern times, the doubloon is remembered due in large part to the influence of historical fiction about piracy.[4]

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Spanish language

Spanish language

Spanish is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family that evolved from colloquial Latin spoken in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. Today, it is a global language with more than 500 million native speakers, mainly in the Americas and Spain. Spanish is the official language of 20 countries. It is the world's second-most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese; the world's fourth-most spoken language overall after English, Mandarin Chinese, and Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu); and the world's most widely spoken Romance language. The largest population of native speakers is in Mexico.

Spanish escudo

Spanish escudo

The escudo was either of two distinct Spanish currency denominations.

Gold coin

Gold coin

A gold coin is a coin that is made mostly or entirely of gold. Most gold coins minted since 1800 are 90–92% gold, while most of today's gold bullion coins are pure gold, such as the Britannia, Canadian Maple Leaf, and American Buffalo. Alloyed gold coins, like the American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand, are typically 91.7% gold by weight, with the remainder being silver and copper.

Spanish dollar

Spanish dollar

The Spanish dollar, also known as the piece of eight, is a silver coin of approximately 38 mm (1.5 in) diameter worth eight Spanish reales. It was minted in the Spanish Empire following a monetary reform in 1497 with content 25.563 g = 0.822 oz t fine silver. It was widely used as the first international currency because of its uniformity in standard and milling characteristics. Some countries countermarked the Spanish dollar so it could be used as their local currency.

Spain

Spain

Spain, or the Kingdom of Spain, is a country primarily located in southwestern Europe with parts of territory in the Atlantic Ocean and across the Mediterranean Sea. The largest part of Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula; its territory also includes the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla in Africa. The country's mainland is bordered to the south by Gibraltar; to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea; to the north by France, Andorra and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of 505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi), Spain is the second-largest country in the European Union (EU) and, with a population exceeding 47.4 million, the fourth-most populous EU member state. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid; other major urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Málaga, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Bilbao.

New Spain

New Spain

New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain, or Kingdom of New Spain, was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and having its capital in Mexico City. Its jurisdiction comprised a huge area that included what is now Mexico, the Western and Southwestern United States in North America; Central America, the Caribbean, very northern parts of South America, and several territorial Pacific Ocean archipelagos.

Colombia

Colombia

Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country in South America with an insular region in North America. It is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela to the east, Brazil to the southeast, Ecuador and Peru to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and Panama to the northwest. Colombia comprises 32 departments and the Capital District of Bogotá, the country's largest city. It covers an area of 1,141,748 square kilometers (440,831 sq mi), with a population of 50 million. Colombia's cultural heritage reflects influences by various Amerindian civilizations, European settlement, enslaved Africans, as well as immigration from Europe and the Middle East. Spanish is the nation's official language, besides which over 70 languages are spoken.

Ecuador

Ecuador

Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) west of the mainland. The country's capital and largest city is Quito.

Panama

Panama

Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a transcontinental country spanning the central part of North America and the northern part of South America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Its capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.

Ducat

Ducat

The ducat coin was used as a trade coin in Europe from the later Middle Ages from the 13th to 19th centuries. Its most familiar version, the gold ducat or sequin containing around 3.5 grams of 98.6% fine gold, originated in Venice in 1284 and gained wide international acceptance over the centuries. Similarly named silver ducatons also existed. The gold ducat circulated along with the Florentine florin and preceded the modern British pound sterling and the United States dollar.

Historical fiction

Historical fiction

Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting related to the past events, but is fictional. Although the term is commonly used as a synonym for historical fiction literature, it can also be applied to other types of narrative, including theatre, opera, cinema, and television, as well as video games and graphic novels.

Pirates in the arts and popular culture

Pirates in the arts and popular culture

In English-speaking popular culture, the modern pirate stereotype owes its attributes mostly to the imagined tradition of the 18th century Caribbean pirate sailing off the Spanish Main and to such celebrated 20th century depictions as Captain Hook and his crew in the theatrical and film versions of J. M. Barrie's children's book Peter Pan, Robert Newton's portrayal of Long John Silver in the 1950 film adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island, and various adaptations of the Middle Eastern pirate, Sinbad the Sailor. In these and countless other books, films, and legends, pirates are portrayed as "swashbucklers" and "plunderers". They are shown on ships, often wearing eyepatches or peg legs, having a parrot perched on their shoulder, and saying phrases like "Arr, matey" and "Avast, me hearty". Pirates have retained their image through pirate-themed tourist attractions, film, toys, books and plays.

History

Spanish American gold coins were minted in one-half, one, two, four, and eight escudo denominations, with each escudo worth around two Spanish dollars or $2. The two-escudo (or $4 coin) was the "doubloon" or "pistole", and the large eight-escudo (or $16) was a "quadruple pistole".

English nomenclature was confusing, though, since the $8 "double pistole" was the doubloon in English usage, while the $16 "quadruple pistole" was the doubloon in American colonial usage. This was disambiguated in references by calling the $4 the common doubloon or simply doubloon, the $8 the doubloon of four (escudos), and the $16 the doubloon of eight.[5] Spanish America did the same as per es:doblón. See also Brasher doubloon.

After the War of 1812, doubloons of eight were valued in Nova Scotia at the rate of £4 and became the dominant coin there.[6]

Doubloons, when exchanged for $4 or 32 reales in silver, traded at a high gold-silver ratio of 16 (since each real contained 3.833 g of 0.917 silver). Since the prevailing ratio in Europe was 15 in most of the 18th century, doubloons occasionally traded at a discount to this amount, at 30–32 reales.

In Spain, doubloons were current for $4 (four duros, or 80 reales de vellón) up to the middle of the 19th century. Isabella II of Spain switched to an escudo-based coinage with decimal reales in 1859, and replaced the 6.77-gram doblón with a new heavier doblón worth $5 (five duros, or 100 reales) and weighing 8.3771 grams (0.268 troy ounces). The last Spanish doubloons (showing the denomination as 80 reales) were minted in 1849. After their independence, the former Spanish Viceroyalties of Mexico, Peru and Nueva Granada continued to mint doubloons.

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Spanish America

Spanish America

Spanish America refers to the Spanish territories in the Americas during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The term "Spanish America" was specifically used during the territories' imperial era between 15th and 19th centuries. To the end of its imperial rule, Spain called its overseas possessions in the Americas and the Philippines "The Indies", an enduring remnant of Columbus's notion that he had reached Asia by sailing west. When these territories reach a high level of importance, the crown established the Council of the Indies in 1524, following the conquest of the Aztec Empire, asserting permanent royal control over its possessions. Regions with dense indigenous populations and sources of mineral wealth attracting Spanish settlers became colonial centers, while those without such resources were peripheral to crown interest. Once regions incorporated into the empire and their importance assessed, overseas possessions came under stronger or weaker crown control. The crown learned its lesson with the rule of Christopher Columbus and his heirs in the Caribbean, and they never subsequently gave authorization of sweeping powers to explorers and conquerors. The Catholic Monarchs' conquest of Granada in 1492 and their expulsion of the Jews "were militant expressions of religious statehood at the moment of the beginning of the American colonization." The crown's power in the religious sphere was absolute in its overseas possessions through the papacy's grant of the Patronato real, and "Catholicism was indissolubly linked with royal authority." Church-State relations were established in the conquest era and remained stable until the end of the Habsburg era in 1700, when the Bourbon monarchs implemented major reforms and changed the relationship between crown and altar.

Spanish escudo

Spanish escudo

The escudo was either of two distinct Spanish currency denominations.

Spanish dollar

Spanish dollar

The Spanish dollar, also known as the piece of eight, is a silver coin of approximately 38 mm (1.5 in) diameter worth eight Spanish reales. It was minted in the Spanish Empire following a monetary reform in 1497 with content 25.563 g = 0.822 oz t fine silver. It was widely used as the first international currency because of its uniformity in standard and milling characteristics. Some countries countermarked the Spanish dollar so it could be used as their local currency.

War of 1812

War of 1812

The War of 1812 was fought by the United States of America and its indigenous allies against the United Kingdom and its allies in British North America, with limited participation by Spain in Florida. It began when the US declared war on 18 June 1812 and, although peace terms were agreed upon in the December 1814 Treaty of Ghent, did not officially end until the peace treaty was ratified by Congress on 17 February 1815.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is one of the three Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic provinces. Nova Scotia is Latin for "New Scotland".

Spanish real

Spanish real

The real was a unit of currency in Spain for several centuries after the mid-14th century. It underwent several changes in value relative to other units throughout its lifetime until it was replaced by the peseta in 1868. The most common denomination for the currency was the silver eight-real Spanish dollar or peso which was used throughout Europe, America and Asia during the height of the Spanish Empire.

Isabella II of Spain

Isabella II of Spain

Isabella II, was Queen of Spain from 29 September 1833 until 30 September 1868.

In other countries

Italian States, Piacenza, 2 Doppie (1626), depicting Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma
Italian States, Piacenza, 2 Doppie (1626), depicting Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma

Doubloons have also been minted in Portuguese colonies, where they went by the name dobrão, with the same meaning. The São Tomé and Príncipe dobra is the only extant currency with a name meaning "doubloon."

In Europe, the doubloon became the model for several other gold coins, including the French Louis d'or, the Italian doppia, the Swiss duplone, the Northern German pistole, and the Prussian Friedrich d'or.

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Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma

Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma

Odoardo Farnese, also known as Odoardo I Farnese to distinguish him from his grandson Odoardo II Farnese, was Duke of Parma, Piacenza and Castro from 1622 to 1646.

São Tomé and Príncipe dobra

São Tomé and Príncipe dobra

The dobra is the currency of São Tomé and Príncipe. It is abbreviated Db and is divided into 100 cêntimos. The first dobra (STD) was introduced in 1977, replacing the escudo at par. Due to past inflation, on 1 January 2018 the dobra was redenominated at a rate of 1000 to 1, and given the new ISO 4217 currency code STN.

Duplone

Duplone

The duplone was a currency used in various Swiss cantons in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Although there is a wide range of conversions due to the differing sizes and gold contents of different canton's duplones, 1 duplone is generally equal to 16 franken. This conversion is exact in both the cantons of Graubünden and Berne. Duplones had a consistent gold fineness of 0.900 across Switzerland.

Pistole

Pistole

Pistole is the French name given to a Spanish gold coin in use from 1537; it was a doubloon or double escudo, the gold unit. The name was also given to the Louis d'Or of Louis XIII of France, and to other European gold coins of about the value of the Spanish coin. One pistole was worth approximately ten livres or three écus, but higher figures are also seen. The derivation is uncertain; the term may come from the Czech píšťala, or from the Italian town of Pistoia; either way, it was originally spelled pistolet and originated in military slang, and probably has the same root as pistol.

Kingdom of Prussia

Kingdom of Prussia

The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Its capital was Berlin.

Friedrich d'or

Friedrich d'or

The Friedrich d'or was a Prussian gold coin (pistole) nominally worth 5 silver Prussian thalers. It was subsequently copied by other North German states under their own rulers' names and valued at 4.8-5 silver North German thalers.

Source: "Doubloon", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubloon.

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See also
References
  1. ^ "Doubloon". Dictionary.com.
  2. ^ Pre-1728 weight standard 27.468/4 = 6.867 g mentioned here is not confirmed in several sources. https://coins.nd.edu/ColCoin/ColCoinIntros/Sp-Gold.intro.html
  3. ^ In 1717 a newly minted doubloon weighed only 6.74 g (4 dwt 8 gr or 104 grains) as per Newton's assay; p.156 of https://books.google.com/books?id=xPQ_AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA156#v=onepage&q&f=false
  4. ^ "What Are Gold Doubloons?". APMEX. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  5. ^ Kelly, Patrick (1821). "The Universal Cambist, and Commercial Instructor: Being a Full and Accurate Treatise on the Exchanges, Monies, Weights and Measures of All Trading Nations and Their Colonies; with an Account of Their Banks, Public Funds, and Paper Currencies".
  6. ^ McCullough, Alan Bruce. Money and Exchange in Canada to 1900, Dundurn, 1984 ISBN 9780919670860

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