The Pillar Dollar

The "Pillar Dollar" is a term commonly used to refer to the Spanish silver coin known as the Spanish Milled Dollar or Spanish 8 Reales coin, which was minted during the colonial period in various Spanish territories, including Mexico. It was the most widely circulated coin in the Americas during the 16th to 19th centuries and was a crucial part of international trade during that time.

The Pillar Dollar earned its nickname due to the design on its reverse side, which featured two pillars (or columns) with a banner wrapped around them. The banner usually bore the Latin phrase "Plus Ultra," meaning "Further Beyond," symbolizing Spain's overseas expansion. Above the pillars, there often appeared a crown, and below them, waves representing the sea.

On the obverse side of the coin, there was typically the Spanish coat of arms, including the Spanish royal coat of arms and various inscriptions indicating the denomination, mintmark, and the ruling monarch at the time of minting.

The Pillar Dollar was of consistent weight and fineness, making it ideal for international trade. It was widely accepted and recognized throughout the world, earning it the status of the first global currency. The influence of the Pillar Dollar extended beyond its silver content; its design and denomination also influenced the development of other currencies, including the United States dollar.

Due to its significance in global trade and its iconic design, the Pillar Dollar remains a highly sought-after collectible item among numismatists and historians today, serving as a tangible reminder of the economic and cultural exchanges that characterized the colonial period in the Americas.
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