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The peso is the monetary unit of several countries in the Americas and the Philippines. Originating in Spain, the word peso translates to "weight" and uses the peso sign ("$"; "₱" in the Philippines). It is sometimes wrongly spoken as pieces in some countries.[ citation needed ]
The silver peso worth eight reales was also known in English as a Spanish dollar or "piece of eight" and was a widely used international trade coin from the 16th to 19th centuries.
The name peso was given to the 8-real silver coin introduced in 1497, minted at 83⁄8 pesos to a Castilian mark (230.0465 grams) of silver 134/144 fine (25.56 g fine silver). It was minted in large quantities after the discovery of silver in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia in the 16th century and immediately became a coin of worldwide importance in international trade between Europe, Asia and North America.
Initially the peso was produced in Spanish Latin America in a rapid and simplified manner by cutting off a lump of silver of proper weight and fineness from the end of a silver bar, which was then flattened out and impressed by a hammer. This resulted in a crude, irregular coin called a cob in English, or a macuquina in Spanish. The Crown was entitled to a fifth of all gold and silver mined, the quinto real (royal fifth), and cobs were a convenient means of handling and accounting for silver. In most cases these cobs were immediately melted down by the recipient. However, some did remain in circulation as currency, and these cobs were ideal candidates for clipping and counterfeiting due to their irregular shape and incomplete design.
Spanish laws of 1728 and 1730 ordered the mechanization of the minting of the peso so that they would be perfectly round and have milled edges. There was a simultaneous reduction in weight and fineness to 8.5 pesos to a mark (27.064 g), 0.9167 fine or 24.809 g fine silver. This new peso became even more popular in international trade, with recipients finding it more advantageous to trade it as coined silver of known value rather than melting it into silver bullion of unknown worth.
This coin was known to English colonists in North America as a piece of eight, then later on as a Spanish dollar, Spanish milled dollar, and finally as a Mexican dollar. In French, it was called a piastre and in Portuguese, a pataca or patacão. The Spanish names at various times and in various places were real de a ocho, patacón , duro, or fuerte.
A final alteration in 1772 further reduced the fineness of the peso from 11/12 fine to 130/144 = 0.9028 (fine silver 24.443 g). A sample of coins at the end of the 18th century, however, confirm a fineness of only 0.896 (hence, fine silver 24.25 g); see Currency of Spanish America#Coinage of 1786. The weight of the United States dollar was defined in 1788 as 371.25 grains of fine silver (or 24.057 g) based on the average silver content of worn peso coins. The full 0.9028 fineness was only restored by Mexico after its independence in 1821.
While the relationship of 8 reales = $1 (or peso duro) continued in the Americas until the 19th century, Spain grappled with the issuance of reales de vellon (made of billon alloy with less than ½ silver) of various weights and finenesses starting 1600 due to its domestic financial and monetary problems.
In 1642 it first recognized a new, reduced real provincial worth only $0.10 or 10 reales/$ for use only in Spain (with the old real worth $0.125 now called real nacional and retained in Latin America). In 1686 Spain minted a coin worth 8 reales provinciales (or only $0.80, known as the peso maria or peso sencillo) which was poorly received by the people.
An edict made in the same year which valued the peso duro at $1 = 152⁄34 reales de vellon proved to be ineffective as the various reales in circulation contained even less silver. The situation was only resolved in 1837 with the peso duro fixed at $1 = 20 reales de vellon and with all prior non-standard reales demonetized.
The loss of Latin American colonies and the ensuing domestic instability in the 19th century cut off the inflow of precious metals into Spain and resulted in French coinage gradually entering domestic circulation. Two subsequent decimal system reforms were attempted in 1850 (at $1 = 20 reales, each of 10 decimos or 100 centimos) and 1864 (at $1 = 2 silver escudos , each of 100 centimos) but were not fully carried out. The peso and the real was only fully retired with the introduction in 1868 of the Spanish peseta, at par with the French franc, and at the rate of $1 = 20 reales = 5 pesetas = 22.5 grams of fine silver.
The successful revolt of the Spanish colonies in America had cut off the supply of silver coin by 1820. By 1825 “...the Spanish dollar, the universal coin of three centuries, had lost its supremacy, and...its universal dominion was in process of disintegration into rival ‘currency areas’, chief among which was destined to be the area dominated by British sterling.”
But the Spanish dollar continued to dominate the Eastern trade, and the peso of eight reales continued to be minted in the New World. The coin was sometimes called a Republican dollar, but eventually any peso of the old Spanish eight-real standard was generally referred to as a Mexican dollar, Mexico being the most prolific producer. Mexico restored the standard of 1772, producing a coin of 27.073 g, 0.9028 fine, containing 24.441 g fine silver (the mark weight of the Mexico City mint was very slightly heavier than the standard mark of Spain).
In 1869–1870, not long after adopting the metric system, Mexican mints began producing the peso of “Un Peso” denomination, popularly known as “balanza” (scales), with the same weight and fineness, but with a uniform diameter of 37 mm (making it slightly thicker than the old peso, which was slightly irregular, with a diameter of 38–40 mm). Chinese merchants rejected the new coin, discounting it 4%–5% in favor of the old eight-real peso. Faced with this threat to her silver exports, Mexico returned to the old eight-real peso by decree of May 29, 1873, but international trade was already shifting from silver to gold, and after 1873 there was a steady decline in the international price of silver.
Prior to 1873, the Mexican dollar would have been to all intents and purposes equal in value to the silver dollar coins of the United States north of the border, but at that time in history, the Mexican coin would have had a much greater international notoriety than that of the U.S. dollar. The great silver devaluation of 1873 caused the Mexican dollar to drop in value against the U.S. dollar, but up until the beginning of the 20th century, the Mexican dollar would still have been a more widely accepted coin in the Far East, than the U.S. dollar. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, Mexico produced well over three billion of these coins. Mexico minted the last eight-real peso in 1897, and at the beginning of the twentieth century, these Mexican dollar coins were worth only 50 cents in relation to the U.S. dollar.
The Philippine peso (Filipino: piso) is derived from the Spanish silver coin Real de a Ocho or Spanish dollar, in wide circulation in the entire America and Southeast Asia during the 17th and 18th centuries, through its use in the Spanish colonies and even in the United States and Canada.
Prior to 1852 the Philippines had no currency of its own (with the exception of local copper cuartos) since pesos received from Spain and Spanish Latin America were accepted in circulation. Locally issued pesos only came about with
As with Mexican dollars, the Philippine unit was based on silver, unlike the United States and Canada where a gold standard operated. Thus, following the great silver devaluation of 1873, the Philippine peso devalued in parallel with the Mexican unit, and by the end of the 19th century, was worth half a United States dollar. The name of the currency remained unchanged despite the 1896 Philippine Revolution and the subsequent declaration of independence in 1898.
|Countries||Currency||ISO 4217 code|
|Dominican Republic||Dominican peso||DOP|
|Country||Former currency||Final Year||Current currency|
|Bolivia||Bolivian peso||1896||Bolivian boliviano|
|Costa Rica||Costa Rican peso||1986||Costa Rican colón|
|Ecuador||Ecuadorian peso||1884||United States dollar|
|El Salvador||Salvadoran peso||1919||United States dollar|
|Equatorial Guinea||Equatorial Guinean peso||1975||Central African CFA franc|
|Guatemala||Guatemalan peso||1925||Guatemalan quetzal|
|Guinea-Bissau||Guinea-Bissau peso||1997||West African CFA franc|
|Honduras||Honduran peso||1931||Honduran lempira|
|Nicaragua||Nicaraguan peso||1912||Nicaraguan córdoba|
|Paraguay||Paraguayan peso||1943||Paraguayan guaraní|
|Peru||Peruvian peso||1863||Peruvian sol|
|Puerto Rico||Puerto Rican peso||1900||United States dollar|
|Venezuela||Venezuelan peso||1874||Venezuelan bolívar|
Dollar is the name of more than 20 currencies. They include Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, New Zealand dollar, Singapore dollar, New Taiwan dollar, Jamaican dollar, Liberian dollar, Namibian dollar, Brunei dollar, the United States dollar and several others.
A thaler is one of the large silver coins minted in the states and territories of the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg monarchy during the Early Modern period. A thaler size silver coin has a diameter of about 40 mm (1½") and a weight of about 25 to 30 grams, or roughly 1 ounce.
The Mexican peso is the currency of Mexico. Modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar, most continuing to use its sign, "$". The Mexican peso is the 15th most traded currency in the world, the third most traded currency from the Americas, and the most traded currency from Latin America.
The peseta was the currency of Spain between 1868 and 2002. Along with the French franc, it was also a de facto currency used in Andorra.
The Philippine peso, also referred to by its Filipino name piso, is the official currency of the Philippines. It is subdivided into 100 centavos or sentimos in Filipino. As a former colony of the United States, the country used English on its currency, with the word "peso" appearing on notes and coinage until 1967. Since the adoption of the usage of the Filipino language on banknotes and coins, the term "piso" is now used.
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. 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.
Trade dollars are silver coins minted as trade coins by various countries to facilitate trade with China and the Orient. They all approximated in weight and fineness to the Spanish dollar, which had set the standard for a de facto common currency for trade in the Far East.
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-realSpanish dollar or peso which was used throughout Europe, America and Asia during the height of the Spanish Empire.
The maravedí, was the name of various Iberian coins of gold and then silver between the 11th and 14th centuries and the name of different Iberian accounting units between the 11th and 19th centuries.
The piastre de commerce was the currency of French Indochina between 1885 and 1952. It was subdivided into 100 cent, each of 5 sapèque.
The real was the official currency of Gibraltar until 1825 and continued to circulate alongside other Spanish and British currencies until 1898.
The silver real was the currency of the Spanish colonies in America and the Philippines. In the seventeenth century the silver real was established at two billon reals or sixty-eight maravedís. Gold escudos were also issued. The coins circulated throughout Spain's colonies and beyond, with the eight-real piece, known in English as the Spanish dollar, becoming an international standard and spawning, among other currencies, the United States dollar. A reform in 1737 set the silver real at two and half billon reals or eighty-five maravedís. This coin, called the real de plata fuerte, became the new standard, issued as coins until the early 19th century. The gold escudo was worth 16 reales de plata fuerte.
The escudo was either of two distinct Spanish currency denominations.
The Philippine real was the currency of the Philippines during the Spanish Colonial Era. Brought over in large quantities by the Manila galleons, eight silver reales made up a silver peso or a dollar. 16 silver real were equal to one gold escudo.
This article provides an outline of the currency of Spanish America from Spanish colonization in the 15th century until Spanish American independencies in the 19th. This great realm was divided into the Viceroyalty of New Spain, which came to include all Spanish territory north of Panama, the West Indies, Venezuela, and the Philippines, and the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included Panama and all Spanish territory in South America except Venezuela. The monetary system of Spanish America, originally identical to that of Spain, soon diverged and took on a distinctive character of its own, which it passed on to the independent nations that followed after.
The currency of Venezuela has been in circulation since the end of the 18th century. The present currency unit in Venezuela is the Venezuelan bolívar.
Currency in Colombia has been used since 1622. It was in that year, under a licence purchased from King Philip III of Spain, that Turrillo de Yebra established a mint at Santa Fe de Bogotá and a branch mint at Cartagena de las Indias, where gold cobs were produced as part of Colombia's first currency. Silver milled coins date from 1627. In 1831, Gran Colombia dissolved into Venezuela and New Granada. In 1836, in New Granada, new monetary laws were passed, to standardise the money produced in the country. From 1861-1862, due to financial instability, the United States of New Granada accepted British currency, the name of the country becoming the United States of Colombia in 1862. In 1880, Colombia pegged the peso to the gold standard due to the falling price of silver. In 1886, the paper peso was introduced. In 1931, Colombia abandoned the gold standard and switched to the current form of the peso.
The article provides a historical summary of the currency used in Ecuador. The present currency of Ecuador is the United States dollar.
Silver Dragon coins, also sometimes known as Dragon dollars, are silver coins issued by China, Japan and later Korea for general circulation in their own countries. Featuring a dragon on the obverse of Japanese and Korean issues and on the reverse of Chinese issues, all were inspired by the silver Spanish dollar which following its introduction into the region in the 16th Century had set the standard for a de facto common currency for trade in the Far East, this specification being a weight of 27.22 grams and a fineness of .900; the coin thus contained 24.5 g of silver.
The history of Philippine money covers currency in use before the Hispanic era with gold Piloncitos and other commodities in circulation, as well as the adoption of the peso during the Hispanic era and afterwards.