Obverse: Within a beaded circle, crowned Habsburg coat of arms, S to the left of shield denoting Seville mintmark, Gothic D assayer mark below. To the right of the shield, annulet above IIII, denoting the value. Text around PHILI[P]PVS II [DEI GRATIA].
Reverse: Cross potent within quatrefoil with ornament dividing lobes and annulets in angles, all within a beaded circle. Text around [+ ]HISP[A]NIAR[V]M RE[X].
History: King Philip II ruled Spain, Naples & Sicily, the Netherlands and far flung Spanish colonies in the New World, Africa and beyond and became one of the greatest and wealthiest overseas empires the world had ever known.
Once married to Mary I of England (who died in 1558), Philip had also been the unpopular and foreign king consort of England and Ireland.
This 4 Escudos gold cob bears the arms of Philip II before the Union with Portugal. The shield on the obverse identifies the lands controlled by the king as detailed below:
Top left: Quadrants of castles and lions – Kingdoms of Castile and León
Top Right: Aragon, Naples and Aragon-Sicily
Centre: Pomegranate - Granada
Middle Left: Horizontal bar – Austria
Middle Bottom: Diagonal Lines – Burgundy ancient
Bottom Shield Left: Vertical lion – Flanders
Bottom Shield Right: Eagle – Tyrol
Middle Right: Fleur-de-lis - Burgundy modern
Middle Bottom – Lion - Brabant
Date: Seville mint, D assayer, 1592-1597.