Draped Bust, Small Eagle (1795-1797)
With John Cabot’s voyage of exploration in 1497, England laid claim to parts of North America, planting the seed that in three hundred years grew into the new nation of the United States. Although settlements weren’t established for more than a century, other European countries lost no time in establishing colonies of their own. The English contented themselves with the eastern seaboard, leaving the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana to the French. Along with vast territories in Central and South America, the Spanish claimed the West Coast of the North American continent, encompassing an area that was to become California, Arizona and New Mexico.
Naturally, coins familiar to these emigres served as currency for commerce in their new adopted land. The Spanish eight reales (Spanish dollar) and its subdivisions of four, two, one, and one-half reales were familiar and accepted everywhere, along with assorted Eng.... (Expand Text)