Bolivia. ‘Royal’ 8 Reales, 1674-P-E (Potosi). WR-8; KM-R26. 26.46 grams. Charles II, 1665-1700. Crowned Cross of Jerusalem, quartering arms of Castille and Leon, all in quadrilobe. Reverse: Crowned pillars over waves. Choice strike on excellent metal. On very spacious, round flan. Three dates visible. Large and impressive. Extremely Rare. NGC graded EF-45. Charles II, the last of the Spanish Habsburg kings, was weak, both physically and mentally. His mother, Mariana of Austria, served as regent for him during his minority and continued to rule after his accession to the throne. Her favoritism for Austria aroused opposition and she was forced into exile in 1677 by Charles' illegimitate brother, John of Austria. Spain continued to lose its military power and suffered a severe decline in its economy, society, and intellectual life. Spanish nobles and the clergy gained political power and were granted tax exemptions, which placed a greater burden on industry and agriculture, causing an increase in emigration. Charles had no children and named Philip of Anjou, Louis XIV’s grandson, as his heir. Philip’s succession, as Philip V, provoked the War of Spanish Succession (1702-1713). The war was really about maintaining the balance of power in Europe. The English, the Dutch and others did not want France to become more powerful. They feared losing valuable commercial opportunities if the French controlled Spanish possessions in America. The war ended with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, by which Philip was recognized as king of Spain, but Spain had lost Gibraltar to England and Spain’s Italian possessions and the Netherlands were given up to Austria. The treaty brought three decades of peace between the English and French.