A Project of the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment
University of Notre Dame, Department of Special Collections
by Louis Jordan

Images Coordinated by
James C. Spilman and the Colonial Newsletter Foundation

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FAQ: Eight Reales or Spanish American Dollar

The Spanish American milled 8 reales is a silver coin from one of the Spanish new world mints (most often from Mexico - on the the shield side after REX would be the mintmark M with a small o above). The eight reales is the famous coin sometimes known as a piece of eight, referred to in colonial America as a "dollar." If you check our Colonial Currency site you will see all Continental Currency (and several state currencies during the Revolutionary War) were denominated in Spanish dollars. This was the most common coin in colonial America and was legal in the US until 1857! For more informationon Spanish American silver in general see our page in the colonial coindisplay at:


For an introduction to the milled varieties see:


And to see examples of milled 8 reales click to:


The value of an eight reales coin depends on the condition. A fine to very fine example can often be purchased in the range of $80-$100 retail. (in 1998)