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Reverse side of an 1821, 8-Reales silver coin

Caleb - "Knock, knock.

Richard - Who's there?

Caleb - Interrupting cow.

Richard - Interrupting c...

Caleb - MOO!" 

To an 8-year-old, that's about the funniest thing ever spoken. To a dad, it's a tender memory and a delightful realization that I share a fondness for corny jokes with my son! When I was only nine years old, I discovered the world of coin collecting from my Grandma Miller. She used to bring out her little coin-filled coffee can and share memories with me from her tiny treasures. She loved to travel, so coins from the Bahamas and England were particularly special to her since they brought her back to adventuring times. One day she shared a coin given to her by a friend who owned a convenience store. The coin was passed off as a dollar coin, but it was an 1821, 8-Reales coin from Spain. This coin of pirate lore was also known as a "Pieces of 8". Roughly the same size as the U.S. silver dollar, it was the world's most commonly used coin at its time. The 8-Reales would be cut into as many as eight pieces to create change from the coin. People drew a comparison between the U.S. dollar and the 8-Reales. Two pieces (bits) of this coin, or 1/4 of it, would be compared to our quarter dollar. Therefore, a U.S. quarter would come to be known as a "two-bits"! My Grandma Miller gave me the coin, and that little piece of silver would grow in me a passion for coins. Like corny jokes will forever be something my son and I can share, coins are something I'll always have as a special memory with my grandma. I love keeping coins to collect and learn, but I'm now also privileged to be able to create meaningful jewelry from coins. Thank you, Grandma!


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