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.

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
Last review by CoinQuest: Sun, 03-Dec-2017 00:58:37 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 india carol charles iiii shield arms kings king crown auspice deo god utro felix male mens hairdo hairline royale royalty peice pieces karolus karolvs carlos karol carl carlovs carlosi karl carlo carlvs charlie carolus carolvs sheild coats shiled crests chevrons shild escucheon insignia arm coat crested crest chevron creast shields escutcheon crowned tiara crowns tiarra crowning tiera gods goddess deus deum dei diety deity godess devm dom divine dios feliz gold au goldish golden goldenen chain


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