The coin is a massive 50 reales, struck in the name of Philip IV of Spain at Segovia, in 1635. For many years I have eyed various examples of this coinage, and in 1997 I decided to bite the bullet, bidding on lot 2555 of the Superior Stamp & Coin Auction held on June 3-4, 1997. I was successful, with a winning bid of around $25,000 + buyers fee. This was a huge sum to pay for one coin, and I had to sell a good portion of my collection at the time to help raise funds. And, as fate would have it, both my wife and I were terminated from our employment in June 1997, at a local health care center as part of a merger and "downsizing" of staff. Still, I raised the funds to pay the approximate $27,000 for this coin (time clouds my memory so I don't have the exact amount). The coin arrived, in a custom coin holder secured with 8 plastic screws, two of which have gone missing over the years. This coin is still in this holder. As 50 reales dates go, this one, 1635, is one of the more "common" dates, of which, according to Goldberg Auctions, 12 known examples exist, with 6 in public collections. In terms of condition, this example is well struck, nicely toned, displays some wear and typical flan stress on the reverse on obverse, although the flan stress is not as severe as it is on other 50 reales. I would conservatively grade it as a choice VF. This coin measures 74.5 mm in diameter. The weight specification for this type is 170.0 grams, according to Krause. This coin weighs 174.3 grams. Spain, 1635 50 reales, Cincuentin Philip IV Segovia (Aqueduct) Assayer R Obverse: Spanish Hapsburg shield, crown above, legend: PHILIPPVS IIII D G, Aqueduct and R to the shield's left, 50 to the shield's right. Reverse: Castles and lions in quadrant, legend: HISPANIARVM REX 1635. Dav-LS567, KM 81.5, Cayón no. 6590 The 50 reales series represents the penultimate silver coinage of the Spanish Empire, an empire whose history is riddled with constant wars with the United Provinces (Netherlands), France and England, as well as experiencing endemic corruption both domestically and abroad. So massive was the silver output from Potosi alone, that it was said a bridge of silver could have been built between South America and Spain. Yet, the money borrowed by the Spanish Crown to finance the crown and the country's wars, along with the interest paid to the bankers of Milan and other financial capitols of Europe, kept Spain in an eternal spiral of economic decline, until it was an empire in name only by the 19th century. So, massive quantities of silver did flow through the port of Seville, only for most of it to go directly to the banking houses of Europe. What silver remained was used to strike mostly minor denominations for everyday use. With the exception of Seville, 8 reales from other mints tend to be scarce to rare. This coin, along with the other 50 reales, was issued on an irregular basis, and never really intended for circulation. Instead, they were issued to certain prominent individuals for their services to the crown, or to members of the royal family and court. Does anyone have an 8 reales companion for this coin, from Segovia, dated 1635? Please post any coins you'd like. Thank you.