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Piece of eight (money)

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This article is about the Spanish silver money. You may be looking for the nine items of the Pirate Lords.

A Cabin Boy holding a piece of eight.

"Those aren't pieces of eight. They're just pieces of junk."
"Aye. The original plan was to use nine pieces of eight to bind Calypso. But when the First Court met, the Brethren were to a one skint broke.
Pintel and Joshamee Gibbs[src]

The Spanish dollar (also known as the piece of eight, the real de a ocho, the eight-real coin, or peso) was a silver coin, of approximately 38 mm diameter, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497.


James Sterling 66

James Sterling wears a piece of eight around his neck

"I have eight pesos. How many do you need?"
"Neptune’s nightgown, love! You can't go flashing that much money here! This is Shipwreck City! Are you mad?
Esmeralda and Jack Sparrow[src]

The purpose of the piece of eight was to correspond to the German thaler. It was widely used in Europe, the Americas, and the Far East. Except for the gold Doubloon, the piece of eight was the most valuable currency in the New World during the Age of Piracy. The term peso was used in Spanish to refer to this denomination.

When the First Brethren Court met to bind Calypso, the Pirate Lords intended to use nine pieces of eight to do that, but they were too short on money, so they used whatever they had in their pockets at the time.[1]

When the pirate Ragetti lost his right eye, he received 300 pieces of eight as a compensation.[2] The infamous pirate James Sterling wore a Piece of eight around his neck. That coin was all that was left of his father's earthly wealth. [3]

Behind the scenes

  • The original opening of At World's End was to be a montage depicting the Pirate Lords each receiving a piece of eight from Hector Barbossa as a sort of invitation announcing the convening of the Brethren Court. However, the scene of the hanging at Fort Charles, in which Hoist the Colors was sung, ended up being the opening in the final cut of the film. All that remained of the original opening was a shot of Barbossa with a piece of eight in his hand, which only appeared in the opening clip of the At World's End deleted scenes.


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