National Geographic : 1966 Feb
Grinning Bacchus, god of wine, watches over a courtyard of Potosi's Casa de Moneda. In this "House of Money," now a museum, colonials minted gold and silver coins for the Spanish Empire. Coinmakers in Madrid sent "samplers" to the New World to illustrate the coin mark ings of Spain. The model above, with a 1770 Madrid mint mark, shows alphabet, numbers, and symbols around a Spanish crown. Potosi minters transferred letters and designs to their own coin dies. After nearly 400 years the mint stopped work in 1951, when paper money re placed the last of the hard currency. EKTACHROME(ABOVE, RIGHT) AND KODACHROMES@ N.G .S .