The real (derived from the Spanish rey = king) was the currency in Spain for several centuries.
Pedro IV of Aragon began in the middle of the 14th century with the minting of gold - Real Mallorca. In Spain, since the middle of the 14th century. also silver coins with the name " Real" coined from Mallorca and Valencia. The simple Reale were minted in large quantities and had the wedding of the Spanish empire a significant share of the European monetary circulation of the 16th century and part of the 17th century. In the permanent Spanish economic crisis of the 18th century a significant devaluation took place.
The Portuguese Real ( plural: Réis ) was introduced around the same time as the Spanish, but quickly lost its value and fell from the copper small change, but remained calculation basis.
Also in the Spanish Netherlands were minted silver Reale - to the late phase of the Dutch War of Independence.
From the rich silver mines of South America Real - pieces were minted from the 16th century. The best known is probably the coin to 8 Reales ( German: "roller piece", English: " Piece of eight" ), which was the taler equivalent to a weight of about 27 grams. Silver coins of 1 /2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 Reales were by the end of the 19th century, common in Central and South America - colonial times, usually with a picture of the relevant Spanish king, after independence, mostly with typical symbols and often the picture a so-called liberty cap.
In North America and many other countries such as Sudan, Eritrea, countries of the Indian Ocean and China circulated (especially 8-) Reales coins as payment - partially reallocated by counterpunch. From the end of the 19th century, the currency "Real / Real " often country-specific currencies ( Sol Boliviano peso, riyal ... ) has been replaced.