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Minting Procedures In the New World


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The crude hand struck process was replaced in 1733 with the "screw press" method which eliminated the irregularly stamped pattern inherent to hand held dies. The screw press was a technological jump. The dies were no longer held by hand. the coin was set between two dies and the top die was screwed down to the bottom die using the power of two massive weights opposing each other above the press. This process formed near perfect coins.

Identifying Spanish Coins By Their Designs

  The cross on the Spanish coin symbolizes the union of church and state and the premise that Spain was the most powerful Catholic country in the world. The basis for all the crosses that appear on the reverse side of the coins is the Jerusalem cross or Crusader's cross.

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  Greek Cross
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Jerusalem Cross

Florenzada Cross
   The "Cruz Griega" or Greek Cross was used by the New World mints of Potosi, LaPlata, Lima, Bogota and Cartengena. Lima was the first mint to begin this design in 1571 and the other mints followed until 1652 when the coin die was changed to the "Pillar & Waves" design.
   The Jerusalem Cross with perpendicular arms was used by the Potosi mint from 1652 to 1772 and the Lima mint from 1684 to 1751. These coins are very similar but can be distinguished by their mint marks of "L" and "P" respectively.
  The Cruz Florenzada was used only by the Mexico mint on their silver coins. The cross appears to have raised circular dots attached to the ends of the cross which were meant to look like fluers-de-lis.
Mexican gold coins do not always have the dots on the end and often have just Jersalem cross with the perpendicular arm.
   The cross side also has the Lions of Leon and Castles of Castile in four quadrants of the cross.
This symbolizes the joining of the two provinces that eventually united Spain and promoted her to the most influential country in the world and remained that way for almost four centuries.




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Minting Process











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