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Kingdom of Spain, Philip II, Double Escudo

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Kingdom of Spain, Philip II, Double Escudo (obverse) Kingdom of Spain, Philip II, Double Escudo (reverse)

In 1537, Charles V of Spain introduced the escudo. The coin soon became the fundamental gold unit of the entire Spanish realm. Some thirty years later, Charles's successor Philip II (1580-1598) initiated the production of double escudos. This gold coin soon spread as highly popular trade coin throughout Europe. In Switzerland, it was copied under the name of duplone, in Italy as doppia, in northern Germany as pistole, in Prussia as Wilhelm d'or and Friedrich d'or respectively. Even the French King Louis XIV, who otherwise tended to reject anything to do with the Hapsburgs, introduced in 1640 in the Louis d'or as an imitation of the double escudo. And, after their liberation from Spain, the double escudo continued to be issued in most former Spanish colonies of South America under the name of doblado.

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