A New World of Gold and Silver by John J. TePaske and edited by Kendall W. Brown

By John J. TePaske and edited by Kendall W. Brown

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Extra resources for A New World of Gold and Silver

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7 Barriga Villalba, Historia de la Casa de Moneda, 59. gold: the scarcer metal? 27 Trends In New World Gold Output During the three centuries of Spanish and Portugese colonization of the Indies, silver dominated. Gold was generally the scarcer metal. In the initial decades to the 1540s, however, gold was more prevalent. As already pointed out, no silver was produced in the Indies until the 1520s, but gold was mined virtually from the time of discovery. The first gold strikes came in the Caribbean, successively in Española, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Central America.

In the initial decades to the 1540s, however, gold was more prevalent. As already pointed out, no silver was produced in the Indies until the 1520s, but gold was mined virtually from the time of discovery. The first gold strikes came in the Caribbean, successively in Española, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Central America. Then in the 1530s the conquests of Peru, Ecuador, and New Granada still enabled gold output to outstrip silver, constituting about 60 percent of New World bullion yields in that decade.

In April of 1513 another smelter was established at San Germán in southwestern Puerto Rico, after the Spaniards discovered gold in nearby streams. Engel Sluiter calculates that the gold mines of Puerto Rico reached peak production very early in 1515 only eight years after the 10 Carl Ortwin Sauer, The Early Spanish Main (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), 25–26 and 61. 32 chapter two first entrada, but output dropped after the initial bonanza and ended completely by 1545. After its conquest by Diego Velásquez in 1511–1512, Cuba produced some gold as well.

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