Information about effigy: Pillars of Hercules

Pillars of Hercules
Spain / Gold Ounce 2021 Iberian Lynx

The symbol of the Pillars of Hercules was made famous by the Spanish dollar (also known as the "piece of eight"), which was widely used as the first international currency from the 16th to 19th centuries. It shows two hemispheres of a world map, crowned between the Pillars of Hercules; the two pillars are also crowned.

On ribbons wrapping the columns, the PLVS VLTRA motto. "Plus ultra" (spelled with V for U, as in old Latin) is a Latin phrase and the national motto of Spain. A reversal of the original phrase "non plus ultra" ("Nothing further beyond"), said to have been inscribed as a warning on the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar (which marked the edge of the known world in antiquity), it has metaphorical suggestions of taking risks and striving for excellence. Its original version, the personal motto of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, also Duke of Burgundy and King of Spain (as Carlos I), was "Plus oultre" in French. The motto was adopted some decades after the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus.

The symbol has been displayed for centuries on coins of Spain and its former colonies.

Pillars of Hercules - Example/s on coins
Spain / Gold Ounce 2021 Iberian Lynx

The Pillars of Hercules on modern gold

Spain / Gold Ounce 2021 Iberian Lynx

The symbol of the Pillars of Hercules was revived on modern gold bullion coinage issued by Spain since 2021.

Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Pillars of Hercules: Details
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