Spain Colonial 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 Escudos (Fakes are possible)  1760 to 1817
Spain Colonial 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 Escudos (Fakes are possible) 1760 to 1817

Evaluating Spanish gold escudos is a complicated topic. On this page you will find a superficial treatment of the subject. If you have one of these coins, it is important to research it thoroughly.

History In the old days Spain colonized much of the Western world. Coins from Spain circulated in places like Mexico, Peru, Columbia, and Florida. CAROL IIII is King Charles IV of Spain, although the older coins have CAROLUS III and are generally worth more than the IIII coins. After Charles came King Ferdinand, and his name and likeness appears on later dates. AUSPICES DEO IN UTRO FELIX means (roughly) 'in the will of God we will happily prosper.' There are many coins with these inscriptions, but the important part is the denomination, 8S in Kristin's case.

Identifying Your Coin 8S means 8 escudos, the largest of Spanish Colonial gold coins. There were also 1S, 2S, and 4S gold coins, as well as 1R, 2R, 4R, and 8R silver reales coins. For a complete run-down on Spanish Colonial coins, with many pertinent details, click to this CoinQuest page.

Copies and Counterfeits It sounds like you, Kristin, have one of the several counterfeits of this coin. For our appraisal of the fakes, please go to this link. There is a close-up of a genuine Mexican 8 escudos at the very bottom of this page. You can it use for comparison to your coin. Many copies and counterfeits are easily discerned by close, careful inspection compared to the real coin. Here is an example of a side-by-side comparison. We have pointed out a few obvious discrepancies:

Evalutation: Gold Content Genuine gold 8 escudos from the 1700s and early 1800s are worth a bundle. The values range widely from $1000 US dollars to several 1000s of US dollars. If you have one of these, you should preserve, protect, and authenticate your coin. Write to us if you have questions.


To focus on the value of these beautiful coins, first consider their gold content:

1/2 escudo, 13 mm diameter, 0.0475 troy ounces gold
1 escudo, 19 mm diameter, 0.0951 ounces gold
2 escudos, 23 mm diameter, 0.1905 ounces gold
4 escudos, 27 mm diameter, 0.3809 ounces gold
8 escudos, 36 mm diameter, 0.7616 ounces gold

Go to a web site such as to find the current value of gold. If you have, for instance, a 2 escudos coin and the current price of gold is $1000 US dollars per ounce, the base value or melt value of your coin would be 0.1905 x 1000 = $190 US dollars. Be sure to use the current value of gold. It changes every day.

Evaluation: Collector Premium If you have an old escudo in excellent condition, it is a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable coin dealer or coin collector. The values shown below are very rough guidelines.

In addition to the melt value comes the numismatic (coin collector) value, sometimes called collector premium. If your coin is heavily worn the collector premium will be low. If it is in great shape this value will be very high. Here are approximate collector premiums that add directly to the melt value:

1/2 escudo, add $20 worn, $200 well preserved
1 escudo, add $30 worn, $300 well preserved
2 escudos, add $60 worn, $600 well preserved
4 escudos, add $160 worn, $1600 well preserved
8 escudos, add $600 worn, $3600 well preserved

First compute the melt value, then add the collector premium to it. You will get an approximate catalog value for your coin. Use our Important Terminology page (link at left above) to estimate actual retail and wholesale prices from catalog value.

Evaluation: Special Dates Sometimes the date and mint mark of the coin affects numismatic value. Here are some big examples:

All coins dated before 1772 carry approx. 1.5 times the collector premiums shown above
1/2 escudo, 1796 and 1797 are common and worth a little less than others
1 escudo, all dates are about equal
2 escudos, 1791 carries twice the collector premium of others
4 escudos, 1788 and 1789 are scarce in high grades and numismatic value triples (approximately)
8 escudos, 1811 with mint mark 'So' is very valuable, cataloging over $10000 in well preserved condition
8 escudos, worn 1788 coins are common and worth somewhat less than others

Image of Genuine Coin We chose the large image below from Bowers and Merena Galleries (now Stack's Bowers) because the toning on its surfaces makes the inscriptions and devices stand out. Does your coin look like this? Hope so. This is a genuine coin.

Coin: 1149 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: kristin, Sat, 29-Aug-2009 15:09:36 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Mon, 20-May-2013 02:34:40 GMT
Updated by CoinQuest. Be sure to use the current value of gold., Sun, 23-Nov-2014 00:41:49 GMT
Requester description: 1792 front of coin--mans head with long hair and looks like royal neck piece. Words are--HISP ET IND R CAROL IIII D G 1792. Back of coin-- amoe sort of shield of arms with kings crown over top of it.Left side of shield has a 8 right side of shield has S printed. Words around coin are--AUSPICE DEO IN UTRO FELIX.
Tags: spain colonial colony 1 2 4 8 escudos escudo fakes counterfeit espana spainish hispanarvim hispan espanas hispanarvm hispaniarum hispanirvm spanich hispanarium hispana espania espa spanish hisp espanola hispa spai hispaniarvm colonies colonization colonie kolonie colonizacao escvdo escudus replica forger counterfet fake counterfiet reproductions repro reproduction counterfeits replicas forgery mans man head hair royal neck piece et ind carol charles iiii shield arms kings king crown auspice deo god utro felix male mann mens hairdo hairline royale royalty peice pieces etind exind karolus karolvs carlos karol carl carlosiy carlovs carlosi karl carolu carlo carlvs charlie carlol carolus karlek carolvs sheild coats shiled crests shied chevrons shileld shild escucheon insignia arm shelid coat crested crest chevron creast shields roi rois rey crowned tiara crwon crpwn crowns tiarra crowning tiera gods divines goddess deus deum dei deity godess devm divined dom dios feliz gold au goldish golden goldenen chain


I have this same coin date on it is 1792 all marks are there but its not is great condition. - Phil Binfield
If your coin is genuine, it is still worth a good amount due to its gold content. If you have not yet done the gold value calculation described above, do it. You might be surprised just how valuable your coin is. - CoinQuest (Paul)

I have a Silver Spanish Coin with Carolus 11 DG on it, but I notice in your general information you only mention Carol 1111, Carolus 111, not Carolus 11, is this coin I have a fake/copy? it has a date of 1697 on it. - matt
Charles (Carolus) II reigned from 1665 to 1700. The date on your coin (1697) corresponds to this period, so that is good. However, back in 1697 most of the gold or silver coins minted looked very crude with an irregular shape, not a circular shape. If your coin has a circular shape with Carolus II, it is probably a valuable coin from Spain. Please submit a separate appraisal request for your coin and we will look it up and give you values. The reason you do not see coins like this on CoinQuest is because no one has requested an appraisal. The web site answers requests as they come in. We do not post coins that have no requests. - CoinQuest (Paul)

I have a Spanish Colonial 8 Escudos 1785 Carol III D G Hisp Et ind R Reverse appears to be the Bolivia mint mark, with assayer initials PR. I would describe it as well preserved. It was a gift from a numismatist about forty years ago. How do I get it appraised and how do I find a market for it? - Barb Prescott
Barb -- The first order of business is to determine authenticity. If it's a fake, it is worth zero. If it is genuine, it is worth a bundle. A genuine coin weighs 27.06 grams. Take it to a jeweler for an accurate (to 0.1 gram) measurement. You can send us a picture by using the Contact button (top of home page) to start an e-mail exchange. We may be able to tell obvious fakes from decent pictures. A genuine coin catalogs at $1400 worn, $1800 well preserved. Take it to a coin dealer in your area and ask for an offer to buy. That's the best kind of in-person appraisal. For info about finding a market, click to our page about selling coins [Press Here]. There are three ways to market coins. You have to pick one of them. - CoinQuest (Andrei)

I have the same coin date on it is 1792 all marks are there, it is in great condition. How is the value? Mario
- Mario
There is no easy way to evaluate your coin. You must go through the process explained on this page: (1) identify, (2) gold content, (3) melt value, (4) collector premium, (5) special dates. Do the math. - CoinQuest (Paul)

What was an 8escudo gold coin worth when it was minted...?? - Kris
We have no image upload capability. If you want to send images, start an e-mail exchange using the Contact button at the top of the home page. To sell your coin, see our page on the subject at this link [PRESS HERE]. - CoinQuest (Paul)






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