I recently stumbled upon a cool little ring. A gold handmade setting displaying a gold coin. The tiny coin, (which I naturally assumed was piece of pirate treasure plundered from a heavy chest dug up on a remote island under a large red X) features the profile of a bearded man and bears the inscription "Maximilianu Emperador." Turn the ring over and the coin depicts an eagle with the date 1865 and the words "Imperio Mexicano."
So I did a little investigating and, while I'm sure there were pirates in Mexico, this is not, in fact, a piece of their treasure. Dream shattered.
Turns out what I held in my hands (or rather wore throughout the day, occasionally ogling and muttering "my precious") was actually a token.
Production of these fantasy tokens began in 1949, which is either an arbitrary date or because prior to that there was a revolutionary war in Mexico.
They were struck in gold ranging from 8k to 22k and a few designs were cast in silver. I say "designs" because while most feature Maximilian who ruled Mexico from 1864-1867, some depict the emperor and his wife, the emperor and his new clothes, the emperor's new groove, etc.
Intended for collectors, tourists and jewelry, some are used in traditional Catholic Mexican wedding ceremonies called Las Arras. The latter typically contain little or no gold content as the ceremony calls for 13 coins, which the groom places in the bride's hands and then into a box to show commitment (but apparently little trust with finances).
So there you have it. I have begrudgingly decided to part with this little ring (because it's not cursed pirate gold) and you can find it in my etsy shop!