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1777 Colonial Silver Half Bit Coin Picayune

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Spanish picayune / half real "bit" coin struck in 1777! (The mintmark on this one identifies it as being from Mexico City)

Well worn, holed, but with a lovely dark patina that gives it great

Spanish-American coins were commonly used in the U.S. until the U.S. started making its own silver coinage in the 1790s. These coins continued to be valid legal tender until the 1850s.

The Spanish dollar (the "piece of eight" of pirate lore) was divided into eigths ("bits") rather then tenths that we use today in the United States and Canada ("dime").

This half reale (half bit / picayune) coin is thus 1/16 of a dollar (6.25 cents).

In the US, it was primarily used in the American south, to my understanding.

The two-bit coin was so commonly used that it was kept in the new decimal system, hence the use of the "quarter" in the United States and Canada, where as virtually all other countries (Australia, France, South Africa, Hong Kong, etc.) use a 20-cent coin, which is a proper tenth. (2/10)

This piece features King Charles / Carolus III of Spain.

See last picture for size comparison beside a dime - this is a very small coin!

Visit my etsy shop for more silver coins / charms

1777 Colonial Silver Half Bit Coin Picayune


  • Vintage item from the 1800s
  • Material: coin silver
  • Ships worldwide from Canada
  • Feedback: 2262 reviews
  • Favorited by: 41 people