Gold Cobs from the Florida shipwrecks of the 1715 Fleet & other New World wrecks. Spanish Colonial gold and silver coins from Lima, Mexico, Cuzco, Bogotá, Cartagena, and other mints.

 

 

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                           FROM THE 1715 PLATE FLEET

 

L 99. Lima 1704 H one escudo. One of two survivors, and by far the better, of this very rare Fleet date. Original mintage of 816. Unknown to numismatists before 1964, when in July of that year Real 8 found two on the Douglass Beach site. One went to auction immediately in the Ubilla sale (lot 142) of 1964, the other was retained by Real 8 and eventually sold privately. Like its companion,  a choice AU escudo but this example with excellent centering and golden color. The other 1704 is off-center to the extent that no part of Hurtado's mint mark (H) is visible and much of the 4 is lost.

The design of the Lima one escudo was unusually stable  in the 56 years (1696-1751) history of this hammered series (we should not call the round gold coins Lima was at pains to produce "cobs").  In the Fleet era (1696-1715) the only noticeable variation was in the number of dots above and flanking the castle. In the general re-design of 1716, a simple cross appeared above the castle and four similar crosses in the angles of the central reverse cross. No documents yet explain this re-design, but we believe it was originally intended as a commemorative issue. In 1733 the single cross above the castle becomes three crosses, making the design look even more crowded. 1704 shows us the classic, uncrowded first design. Two dots bracket the mint mark (L) and assayer (H) and three dots (only one clearly visible) arc over the castle.

 Our census of all denominations of 1704 Lima escudos now includes six collectible onzas, 2 two escudos and two one escudos. The obstacle to a 1704 Lima date set has always been the absence of a media onza, but there is good news from Spain! A lone 1704 four escudos is reported by a reliable source in a private collection. 

 

  

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