Does anyone know what this is? I would love to have it authenticated if it is anything special.
It has nothing to do with the Crusades. Rather, it's a "pirate coin". Spanish-Americas, 1700s or thereabouts, either Mexico or Peru. Probably an 8 reales ("piece of eight"), though perhaps a fraction; denomination depends on the weight.
The pitting indicates it was likely a shipwreck find. Thousands of such coins have been found by treasure-hunters diving the wrecks of Spanish galleons in the Florida Straits.
Mexico, Philip V, J assayer. Going to be 1700-1715 or so.
Can you weigh it to the 0.1g?
To narrow it a bit more, the design is Mexico, 1706-1712 (assayer J, triangle pomegranate). Probably wants to be an 8R... possibly a 4, but no smaller. As such, a piece that one would guess was more likely than not from the 1715 Fleet. Fairly typical amount of detail present for the type.
Not conclusive, but I have my doubts about it.
-- There are a few too many isolated, "discrete" pores, despite the piece overall not presenting as being all that "sea-eaten". The pics are very high-res which tends to exacerbate the look of that, but even reducing the resolution somewhat, it's still notable.
-- Regarding the areas where the detail is struck up... the design elements have a lot of depth to them (like they came from a heavy strike). Despite that, much of the raised detail has a blobbish/mushy look to it (e.g., DEI on obverse... the cross spokes/ends on reverse).
What it kind of looks like to me is that "they" might have touched up a cast mold a bit to make the design elements bolder... but the finished product still fell victim to the limitations of casting.
-- What I circled in the cropped closeup (2nd pic) is highly suspect. Sort of looks like a scratch but keep following it inward and it seems to continue as raised metal. Some kind of fissure in a mold??
Again, not conclusively damning the piece, but I'm leaning that way. Keep in mind there were a TON of casts of 1715 Fleet material made almost from the very beginning of the salvage efforts in the 60s.
Will say that if cast, it's good quality. I'm scrutinizing with an experienced eye/knowledge/skepticism... many/most people would accept this piece as genuine salvage without giving it a second thought.
Good study piece.
Super informative @realeswatcher thank you very much for sharing.
@realeswatcher, thank you very much for the very descriptive response! I just checked the weight, it weighs 24.8 grams. Does this help determine authenticity? Does PCGS or NGC certify these?