The escudo was established as the primary currency unit of Portugal in 1722 and was thus named because of the escudo, meaning "shield," depicted on the reverse side of the coin. Originally, the escudo was minted in gold. Then, in the 1900s, silver was used, and finally a nickel-copper alloy.
The reverse features the coat-of-arms shield of Portugal surrounded by a wreath and the denomination of the coin (1 ESCUDO) beneath. A lovely little flower flanks the denomination on each side.
Almost as interesting as the coin, itself, is the envelope in which it came. The vendor used an extremely curious array of stamps to make the required postage! A couple of the stamps, such as the old 3¢ stamp with George Washington I remember as being a popular stamp during my childhood! What a trip down Memory Lane!