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The doubloon (from Spanish doblón, meaning "double") was a two-escudo or 32-real gold coin, weighing 6.77 grams (0.218 troy ounces). Doubloons were minted in Spain, Mexico, Peru, and 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.
Doubloons marked "2 S" are equivalent to four dollars in US gold coins and were traded in that manner. Small 1/2-escudo coins (similar to a US $1 gold piece) have no value marked on them but were worth a Spanish milled dollar in trade.
In Spain, doubloons were current up to the middle of the 19th century. Isabella II of Spain replaced an escudo-based coinage with decimal reales in 1859, and replaced the 6.77-gram doblón with a new heavier doblón worth 100 reales and weighing 8.3771 grams (0.268 troy ounces). The last Spanish doubloons (showing the denomination as 80 reales) were minted in 1849. After their independence, the former Spanish colonies of Mexico, Peru and Nueva Granada continued to mint 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 popular culture
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- In the computer game Heroes of the Storm, by Blizzard Entertainment (to be released in 2015), Dubloons are a currency used on the Pirate Map.
- In New Orleans, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama, "doubloons", usually made of aluminum, have been thrown by Mardi Gras carnival krewes since 1959, when the Rex Krewe reportedly first used them.
- The novel Moby-Dick includes a chapter entitled "The Doubloon".
- In Raymond Chandler's novel The High Window, Phillip Marlowe is initially hired by Mrs. Murdock to locate a coin owned by her late husband, the "Brasher Doubloon", every owner of which has been murdered.
- In the first Hardy Boys novel, The Tower Treasure (1927), Applegate's treasure is a chest of "gold doubloons". This theme reoccurred in a Disney serial, "The Hardy Boys and the Applegate Treasure" (part of The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955), in which "gold doubloons" are extensively featured.
- In the online game Neopets, "dubloons" are rare coins found around the world and can be used on Krawk Island.
- In the board game Puerto Rico, doubloons are used as currency.
- The plot of the novel Biggles Flies West by Captain W. E. Johns revolves around a cursed doubloon.
- In the film The Goonies, Chunk finds a doubloon.
- In the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Ghoul Fools", the ghosts who inhabit the haunted houseboat use doubloons as currency.
- In "Jake and the Neverland Pirates", the crew earns gold doubloons for solving pirate problems.
- In Suits Season 1, Episode 4: "Dirty Little Secrets" - Harvey Specter: "Can't I'm busy this weekend. I have to break into Fort Knox. I have to return some dubloons I stole".
- In Futurama episode "Godfellas", Season 3 Episode 4, Space Pirate says: "Electronically transfer you space Doubloons, afore I send thee to Davey Jarg's locker".
- In The Addams Family Movie (1991) Gomez Addams stockpiles wealth in the form of doubloons.
- In "Muppet Treasure Island" Benjamina wears a necklace of Spanish Dubloons.
- Doubloons are often thrown at Mardi Gras parades and can be either plastic doubloons or occasionally the candy doubloons.
- Spanish dollar, also known as a piece of eight