Spain Ferdinand & Isabella (1474-1516)

Spain Ferdinand & Isabella (1474-1516)

Spain Ferdinand & Isabella (1474-1516)

Gold Excelente, Double Excelentes and Quadruple Excelentes

The gold that financed Christopher Columbus’ Expedition to the New World!

Obverse: facing busts of Ferdinand V and Isabel I, with inscription FERNANDVS ET ELISABET D(EI) G(RATIA) REX ET [Ferdinand and Isabel Kings by the Grace of God].

Reverse: crowned coat-of-arms. SVB VNBRA ALARUN TVARVN [Under the Shadow of Thy Wings, Jehovah]

Early Spanish gold coins struck under Ferdinand and Isabella are among the most important coins to the entire world of numismatics. These are the precise coins that funded the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World in 1492 and are among the first coins to ever circulate in the Americas.  After years of rejection and failure, Columbus, who had been shipwrecked and left for dead in 1476, received funding from the Spanish Monarchs Ferdinand V and Isabella I for his famous journey.

This Ferdinand and Isabel Gold series comprise the coins that Columbus showed to the indigenous people as an example of Spanish gold, and a tangible piece of history of unimaginable importance. Columbus’ successes established Spanish imperial supremacy for Spain in the Americas and shaped the very world as we know it today.

The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile created a union of the two Spanish kingdoms which would unite all the dominions of Spain, end of all Islamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula, and elevate the nation of Spain to a dominant world power. This new unified power provided sponsorship for Christopher Columbus' legendary voyages across the Atlantic. In 1494 The Treaty of Tordesillas was signed which divided the newly discovered lands beyond Europe between Isabella and Ferdinand and king John II of Portugal, and a Golden Age of exploration and colonization had begun. This gold coin elegantly depicts the crucial union between Ferdinand and Isabella.

Interesting Fact:

The double excelente is considered the origin of doubloon, a cob-type two escudo that was also referred to as a doblón, and eventually that Spanish word was anglicized to doubloon, a popular world coin type celebrated in tales of pirates and treasure.

While all coinage of Ferdinand and Isabella is of great importance and interest to collectors of New World coin types, we always suggest that you put away either high grade or rare mint (or a combination of the two).