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Denomination: 1/2 Real Date: 1600-1800
History: These Spanish cob coins were retrieved from the Rimac River banks in Lima, Peru. Local tradition says that people who were getting married in the church of Saint Rosa, the first saint in the Americas, took a carriage ride over the stone bridge and threw these coins as a good luck token into the Rimac River. Santa Rosa was born in 1586 into a wealthy background but dedicated her entire life to helping the poor and miserable and built a hospital to serve those people. Legend says that Santa Rosa had the ability to heal sick people by showing them an image of Jesus and praying with the patient. Her influence spread and with it the Catholic religion expanded across the continent. At the young age of 31, Santa Rosa caught tuberculosis and died in 1617. 50 years later, she became the first person to be canonized by Pope Clement as Saint Rose of Lima.
At the time the Rimac River bridge was built, in 1608, it was considered the largest stone structure in the America. Over time the original stone was destroyed by a flood and has been rebuilt several times. The coins can be found in the river bank when the soil is excavated and are still recovered today by locals.