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Portuguese escudo

The Portuguese escudo was the currency used in Portugal prior to the introduction of the euro on 1 January 1999. One escudo was subdivided into a hundred centavos. In addition, the escudo was also an 18th-century denomination of the real, the currency used before the 5 October 1910 revolution.

This picture shows a gold coin worth eight escudos minted in 1729, during the reign of John V. The obverse (left) features a portrait of the monarch in profile, with an abbreviated Latin inscription translating to 'John V, by the grace of God, King of Portugal and the Algarves'. The reverse (right) depicts the Portuguese coat of arms, supported by two dragons on either side and surmounted by a crown. While various denominations of the gold escudo were produced between 1722 and 1821, the eight-escudo coin was only struck for a fairly brief period, first in 1722, and again between 1724 and 1730. This particular coin is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Coin design credit: Kingdom of Portugal / Casa da Moeda; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection

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