Can anyone explain to me what the phrase "Nine Pieces of Eight" means? I understand that it took 9 pirate lords to bind Calypso, and the movie also shows the 9 pieces. However, what is this statement? What does it mean? Why is this important?
It’s a Spanish silver coin worth 8 Spanish reales. So the 9 pirates would break the coin (worth 8) into 9 pieces. One piece of the coin for each of the 9 pirates. So basically 9 pieces of a coin worth 8 of it’s face value.
In the movie, the crew/swabbies were confused because it wasn’t a coin, instead it was items or junk. It is explained when they collect the pieces, the plan was to use 9 pieces of 8 (silver coin), but when the Brethren court met they were, well, broke! So they improvised;
“Nine pieces of whatever we happen to have in our pockets at the time!”
To which the swabbies answered:
“Oh yes, that sounds very piratey.”
Watch it again you’ll get it when he explains it to the crew. They just never explained that the 9 of 8 was pieces of a coin.
A piece of eight is currency, specifically the Spanish dollar which was a piece of silver worth eight reales.