Spanish Silver Reales

We always wanted to find one of these coins since we started metal detecting, and both of these were found about 5 minutes walking distance from our house! Our first Spanish Reales

We mostly hunt ocean beaches, but now we're getting hooked on relic hunting. Finding real old coins is just as exciting as finding gold rings in the surf.

Actually, it's alot more challenging since you have to do a lot more research and study the history of the area you are planning to hunt.


Silver Spanish RealesSpain was the most powerful country in Europe in the 16th century. After the destruction of the Spanish Armada in 1588, Spain was ruled by Napoleonic forces till 1814.

Rulers: Philip V from 1700-1746; Louis 1 in 1724; Fernando VI from 1746 to 1759; Carlos III, from 1759-1788; and Carlos IV, from 1788 to 1808.

Many Spanish colonial mints struck coins similar to the regular Spanish issues until the 1820's. These issues are easily distinguished by a mint mark, you would need a coin book because of the many varieties.


Half pennyThis was Carol's first target, a 1778 GEORGIVS III REX. We're still confused as to whether this is a counterfeit British halfpenny or a Machin Mills half penny.

We have three of these now, but this one is different than the other two because of the fact that he is facing to the right.

George III Halfpennies were produced between 1770 and 1775, but no 1778's we're made by the British.

A large number of poor quality counterfeit copies of this issue has turned up, and it is clear that halfpennies must have been in very short supply and great demand. The copies were obviously accepted in change almost as readily as the genuine articles.

But if it is counterfeit, it doesn't mean it's not valuable, it's still a piece of history.

Submitted by Bob
In regards to the coin posted by Carol as her first find....I am able to identify it for you/her. It is a British made counterfeit halfpenny, which circulated heavily here and in England in the 1780s. It is not a Machins Mills, which would have been made here in New York.
It also it most likely dated 1775 as evident by the type and recognizable dies .... we are studying these and have determined that there are families of dies for many of these British contemporary imitations and this is a Young Head Family coin.
Regards, Bob