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Pistareen Coin

Pistareen Coin

In the 18th century, few countries had a standard currency, and a shortage of cash in North America forced colonists to use a wide variety of coins from other countries. A coin's face value was less important than its weight and purity. Therefore, the Pistareen—minted in Spain with varying silver content—was widely known as coinage of debased value. It was nevertheless a common coin in colonial Virginia and was simply circulated at a lesser value. A single Pistareen might have been spent to send two single-page letters from Williamsburg to Annapolis; for two Pistareen, a man might pay a barber to shave and dress him, as well as fix his shoes.

This reproduction coin bears a crowned Hapsburg shield on its face and a cross with the Castile and Leon shield on the back. The newly struck coin is made to closely approximate the look and feel of the original, which was unearthed at the James Anderson Blacksmith Shop. Made of nickel silver.

Pistareen Coin (1" dia.) No. 111310

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