Produced under the reign of King Charles I and Queen Johanna, the coin bears a crowned royal shield of Spain, whose quadrants hold lions, castles, and a pomegranate. The reverse side bears the crown-topped Pillars of Hercules framing the word “PLVS”–shorthand for the ancient Spanish motto, “Ne Plus Ultra,” or “nothing further beyond.”
Assuring an avid buying audience for the rare piece, the Philadelphia auction took place in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association's World’s Fair of Money, the world’s largest coin convention. All three known copies of the coin are held in private collections. Considered the finest example of the three known coins, it sold for $528,000, well above the estimate.