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November 22, 2017 14 min

In Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Long John Silver's parrot, Captain Flint would say with great rapidity, as the novel tells us, 

"Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!" till you wondered that it was not out of breath, or till John threw his handkerchief over the cage. "


This classic story has captivated generations of adults and children alike. It has also linked the coins (and parrots) to fictional depictions of pirates, to this day.

So, whilst great pirate stories have forever linked “pieces of eight” with their owners and their seafaring bounty where does the term come from and what were they for?

That is a tale of wonder. Let’s find out.

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Thanks for listening!


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