Celebrating Spanish contributions to American Independence: The Story of Teresa Valcarce and Juan Manuel Muñoz

Celebrating Spanish contributions to American Independence: The Story of Teresa Valcarce and Juan Manuel Muñoz

Teresa is my Hispanic hero, and as she likes to say, “she hung a painting.” If you haven’t heard of her, just Google her—you’ll be blown away by her incredible accomplishments.


I’m an entrepreneur and now a partner with Teresa in the production of cool, counterfeit money.


Though we are quite different, we wholeheartedly believe that Spaniards should celebrate the 4th of July with as much pride as Americans, if not more. Let me explain:


So, last year, we crossed paths with Michael López-Alegría at an event in Washington DC. You know, the first Spanish astronaut. The one who took a Real Madrid jersey to space and speaks with that interesting American accent. At some point, Teresa handed him a brass coin. It was a replica of a Spanish dollar, or a silver eight-real coin (as it was known as back then) from the era of King Charles III. “With this, Washington’s wife used to buy bread,” she said. The coin was as boring as watching paint dry. But the backstory was mind-blowing. Clueless as I was, I could not help but ask her to tell me about it sloooowly.


I used to fancy myself a well-read, knowledgeable man. Boy, was I wrong! Teresa, a force of nature, enlightened me (no slow pace here, she’s a hurricane). That’s when it hit me: ‘Maritere, what if we recreate an exact replica of the original Spanish dollar and tell its story too?’


Tere said yes, sure, but she mentioned it would cost a lot of money… I managed to convince her with a really simple math trick: “If we go fifty-fifty, it only costs us half!”


And off we went. We talked to historians, experts, collectors… all these smart folks who were gradually enlightening us and expanding our historical horizons.


After a bunch of back-and-forths, a friend in China connected us with a jeweler in Hong Kong who melted down the silver and handed over 500 coins in October 2023. Couldn’t ask for a better minting job! After all the testing, importing, and paying Uncle Sam’s tariffs, we gave it a top-notch case, added a coin stand, and threw in a booklet with a quick but juicy history rundown about this coin.


We have even made a website for it: elrealdeaocho.com. There, we tell you all about how both Spain’s support and the Spanish dollar were crucial in the independence of the United States.


The thing is, our site couldn’t keep up once we got it going. There’s just so much new stuff every day! That’s why, every Saturday we’re sending out a quick story like this one about the original global currency: the Spanish dollar.


If you’re interested, you can sign up as well.


And if you feel like it, you can buy a Spanish dollar — for yourself or as a gift.


Or simply to celebrate not only the 4th of July but also our big contribution to this event 248 years ago.




Your blissfully clueless,


Teresa and Juan M.

Jesús Martínez
Jesús Martínez


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