The Oxford English Dictionary says the word PISTAREEN is derived from a popular formation of peseta a diminutive of the pesa of weight, that later became peso, the unit of monetary value in Spain, now equivalent to the Spanish dollar. Pistareen is an American and/or West Indian name for a small Spanish silver coin formerly circulating there or, alternatively, concerned with small matters; petty, paltry, picayune. The pistareen to be more specific is a thin, round, silver coin, about the size of a modern day quarter on whose face it is worth
two reales. Pistareens were minted in Spain from the late 17th to the early 19th century. Fractional denominations of one half pistareen, worth one real, and one quarter pistareen worth a ½ real, respectively, were also minted. The Spanish Crown never intended pistareens to circulate beyond the borders of mainland, metropolitan Spain. Pistareens have a lower silver content [833.3 fine] than the full-value, internationally esteemed Spanish colonial reales that dominated worldwide trade. On the obverse (front) of the one reale coin or half-pistareen, is "PHILLIPUS D G V" [Phillip the 5th of Spain by the Grace of God] the rest is too rubbed, along the sides of the Spanish Royal coat of arms are the letters "R/S" [Seville Mint in Spain] and " P/A" [one reale, Mint masters initials] and on the reverse is a Cross with castles and lions in angles in octolobe and the inscription along the edge, "HISPANIARUM/ REX/ 1732" [King of the Spains] Condition: poor, very rubbed.
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