AskDefine | Define doubloon

Dictionary Definition

doubloon n : a former Spanish gold coin

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A former Spanish gold coin, also used in its American colonies.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
      English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Georges, and Louises, doubloons and double guineas and moidores and sequins, the pictures of all the kings of Europe for the last hundred years, strange Oriental pices stamped with what looked like wisps of string or its of spider's web, round pieces and square pieces, and pieces bored through the middle, as if to ware them round your neck - nearly every variety of money in the world must, I think, have found a place in that collection...

Extensive Definition

The word doubloon (from Spanish doblón, meaning double), meaning a double-sided token coin, often refers to a seven-gram (0.225 troy ounce) gold coin minted in Spain, Mexico, Peru, or Nueva Granada. The term was first used to describe the golden excelente, either because of its value of two ducats, or because of the double portrait of Ferdinand and Isabella. Later, it referred to a coin worth two escudos (0.1905 troy ounce gold), first minted in 1566, during the reign of Philip II of Spain.
In Spain, doubloons were current up to the middle of the 19th century. During the reign of Isabella II of Spain, it was neglected in favour of the real, and finally supplanted by the peseta in 1869. The last Spanish doubloons (showing the denomination as 80 reales (de vellon)) were minted in 1849. After their independence, the former Spanish colonies Mexico, Peru and Nueva Granada also minted doubloons.
Doubloons have also been minted in Portuguese colonies, where they went by the name "dobrão", with the same meaning.
In Europe, the doubloon became the model for several other gold coins, including the French Louis d'or, the Italian doppia, the Swiss duplone, the Northern German pistole, and the Prussian Friedrich d'or.
In New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, doubloons usually made of aluminum have been thrown by Mardi Gras carnival krewes since at least 1960, when the Rex Krewe reportedly first used them.
doubloon in Bulgarian: Дублон
doubloon in German: Dublone
doubloon in French: Doublon (monnaie)
doubloon in Dutch: Dubloen
doubloon in Japanese: ダブルーン
doubloon in Polish: Dublon

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

coin, crown, double eagle, ducat, eagle, five-dollar gold piece, gold piece, guinea, half crown, half eagle, hard money, moidore, napoleon, piece, piece of money, piece of silver, pound sovereign, roll of coins, rouleau, sovereign, specie, ten-dollar gold piece, twenty-dollar gold piece
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