Early Money in AmericaThe First "Money" in America
Pieces of Eight
Known as Spanish milled dollars or Pillar dollars, these silver coins were often minted in Mexico and other Latin American countries but were commonly used in the American colonies. In fact, they continued to be used throughout the country for much of the 1800s. The coins were worth eight reales in the Spanish monetary system and were often cut into pieces to make change. The term "two bits" (meaning a quarter dollar) is derived from this coin.