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Philip V of Spain, Half Reale

This quite attractive little (15mm in diameter) silver coin was found by Stewart Beech.

It’s a half reale of Philip V of Spain and is dated 1738 on the reverse. Stewart said one of the sites he has access to backs on to the Humber, where old trading ships used to dock. Perhaps this coin was dropped during the 18th century by a Spaniard whilst he was unloading a cargo.

By 1738 Spain was not the great power it had been. It still ruled over large areas of South America but the gold it had extracted had been frittered away instead of being invested in profitable ventures.


This half reale is of a type that was struck at a mint situated in Seville. It has got eye appeal and is in strong VF condition. It’s not particularly scarce but the condition is so good that it should be worth at least £50 to a collector.

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