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Pillar Dollar
1753

Pieces of eight
Minted in Lima, Peru, this coin is an example of the famous "pillar dollars"-or pieces of eight-that were used so extensively during colonial and post-colonial periods in American history. These coins and their replacement, the silver pesos of Mexico, formed the backbone of circulating currency in the colonies and the early United States. Only in 1857, in fact, did all foreign coins lose legal-tender status in the United States.

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· National Numismatic Collection, NMAH

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