Spanish real

Spanish real

The real was a unit of currency in Spain for several centuries.


The first real was introduced by King Pedro I of Castile at a value of 3 "maravedíes". This rate of exchange increased until 1497, when the real was fixed at a value of 34 maravedíes. The famous "Peso de a Ocho" ("piece of eight" is referred to the value of 8 Reales = 1 Silver Peso) also known as Spanish dollar, was issued that same year, and it later became widespread in America and Asia. In 1566, the gold escudo was introduced, worth 16 reales. The "Peso de a ocho" or "Piece of eight" is a 1 ounce Silver coin, and have not to be confused with the minor coins: 4 Reales, 2 Reales, 1 Real and the little (half inch diameter) Half Real.

During this period, Spanish coinage became popular in international trade and commerce, and remained so for centuries.

17th century

In 1642, two distinct reales were created, the "real de plata" (made of silver) and the "real de vellón" (made of billon, or "less than half silver"). The exchange rate between these two coins was set at 2 reales de vellón = 1 real de plata. The maravedí was tied to the real de vellón, causing the real de plata to be worth 68 maravedíes. The gold escudo was worth 16 reales de plata.

18th century

The "real de plata fuerte" was introduced in 1737 at a value of 2½ reales de vellón or 85 maravedíes. This real was the standard, issued as coins until the early 19th century. The gold escudo was worth 16 reales de plata fuerte.

19th century

In 1808, coins were introduced denominated in real de vellón. These coins circulated alongside real de plata fuerte and escudo coins until decimalization. Coins denominated in reales de plata were minted until 1837, whilst maravedí coins were issued until 1850.


The real de vellón, now just called the real, was adopted as the chief unit in Spain's first decimal currency, introduced in 1850. To begin with, subsidiary pieces were issued denominated in "decima de real" (tenths of a real). Later they were denominated in "céntimo de real" (hundredths of a real). The real replaced the Catalan peseta in 1850, at a rate of 1 peseta = 4 reales.

In 1864, the real was replaced by a new escudo worth 10 reales (i.e., not equivalent to the earlier escudo). This second escudo was itself replaced in 1868 by the peseta at a rate of 1 peseta = 0.4 escudos = 4 reales. Consequently, the term real lived on, meaning a quarter of a peseta.



In the eighteenth century, coins were issued in copper for 1, 2, 4 and 8 maravedíes, in silver for ½, 1, 2, 4 and 8 reales and in gold for ½, 1, 2, 4 and 8 escudos. The silver 8 reales coins was known as the "Spanish dollar" or "peso" (the famous "piece of eight"). Spanish dollars minted between 1732 and 1773 are also often referred to as "columnarios". The portrait variety from 1772 and later are typically referred to as Spanish dollars or Pillar Dollars. There was also a denomination known as the "peso sencillo" worth 6 reales.

From 1808, coins were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 4, 10, 20, 80, 160 and 320 reales de vellón. The higher denominations were equivalent to 4 and 8 reales de plata fuerte and 2, 4 and 8 escudos.


Copper coins were issued for ½, 1 and 2 decima de real and ½ real, with silver 1, 2, 4, 10 and 20 reales and gold 20, 40 and 100 reales. The new denominations were introduced between 1850 and 1853. In 1854, copper 5, 10 and 25 céntimos de reales were introduced.

ee also



*numis cite SCWC | date=1991

External links

* [ Coins from Guadalajara, Jalisco. Mexico (1812 - 2006)] ( & numismatics external links
world_coin_gallery_1_url = Spain
world_coin_gallery_1_name = Spain
banknote_world_1_url =
banknote_world_1_name =
dollarization_1_url =
dollarization_1_name =
gfd_1_url = Spain
gfd_1_name = Spain
gfd_data_1_url =
gfd_data_1_name =
show_gfd_excel = Y

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Real Madrid C.F. — Real Madrid redirects here. For the basketball team, see Real Madrid Baloncesto. For other uses, see Real Madrid (disambiguation). Real Madrid Full name Real Madrid Club de Fútbol …   Wikipedia

  • Real — most often refers to reality, the state of things as they actually exist.Real may also refer to:Media and entertainment* Real (L Arc en Ciel album) * Real (manga) * RealNetworks, an Internet media provider * A member of the band F.I.R. * Real… …   Wikipedia

  • Spanish National Observatory — Native name: Spanish: Real Observatorio de Madrid Location: Madrid, Spain …   Wikipedia

  • Spanish dollar — The Spanish dollar (also known as the piece of eight , the real de a ocho , or the eight real coin ) is a silver coin, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497. It was legal tender in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Spanish colonial real — The real was the currency of Spain s colonies in the Americas. The real was equal to the Spanish real de plata. Gold escudos (worth 16 reales) were also issued. The coins circulated throughout Spain s colonies and beyond, with the eight reales… …   Wikipedia

  • Real — This interesting and unusual name is of medieval Spanish origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, it may be a locational surname deriving from any of the numerous places called Real in Spain. All of these are named with the Spanish term… …   Surnames reference

  • Spanish Formosa — Infobox Former Country native name = conventional long name = Spanish Formosa common name = Spanish Formosa status = Colony empire = Spain status text = continent = Asia region = East Asia country = Taiwan era = Age of Discovery event start =… …   Wikipedia

  • Real Federación Española de Ciclismo — The Royal Spanish Cycling Federation or RFEC (in Spanish: Real Federación Española de Ciclismo ) is the national governing body of cycle racing in Spain.It covers the disciplines of road racing, track cycling, cyclo cross, BMX, mountain biking… …   Wikipedia

  • Real de Gandía — Infobox City Spain official name=Real de Gandía native name=Real de Gandia spanish name=Real de Gandía lat long=coord|38|56|50|N|0|11|26|W|region:ES type:city time zone=CET (GMT +1) time zone summer=CEST (GMT +2) native language=Valencian… …   Wikipedia

  • Spanish Language and Literature — • As a medium of literary expression Spanish asserted itself first in the twelfth century: it had been six or seven centuries in the process of evolution out of Latin Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Spanish Language and Literature      …   Catholic encyclopedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”