Coinage

One Real Cobb, Structure T29, Tayasal 2

Overview

This silver coin, discovered in Peten, has a diameter of 1.9 cm, is 0.1 cm thick, and weighs 3 g, suggesting a value equivalent to one “real” of Spanish currency.

Excerpt

“The weight is below that required by royal decree (3.4335 g from A.D. 1535 to 1728 and 3.383 g from 1728 to 1825), but none of the silver coins in the (Spanish Florida) Florida Collection meet these standards (Craig 2000: table 2.1, appendix C). Underweight or ‘‘feeble’’ coins benefited coin producers, but at the expense of the crown (Craig 2000: 15). ” This coin is a ‘‘cob,’’ meaning that it was shaped by hand from dies, rather than being milled or machine struck. Such coins were produced in Santiago de Guatemala until 1753 (Deagan 2002: 255). One side of the coin depicts crowned pillars (the Pillars of Hercules) and on the reverse is a Jerusalem Cross with the lion and castle of the shield of Castilla y Leo´n. Letters between the pillars read SVL TR, which when completely stamped would have read PLV SVL TRA or Plus Ultra, the national motto of Spain, and Latin for ‘‘further beyond.’’ Below SVL is the last digit in the coin’s date, which could either be a 0 or an 8; the rest of the date is illegible. The position above the TRA in Plus Ultra is often occupied by the assayer’s initial (Craig 2000: 149), which in this case is a ‘‘V,’’ however, we do not know the name of the mint. The coin is a salient artifact in that it demonstrates that San Bernabe´ was part of the Spanish economic system” (Pugh et al. 2012:15-16).