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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Charles II (1665-1700)

 

 FROM THE 1715 PLATE FLEET

 

L80.  Lima 1699 R eight escudos, a choice mint state specimen on a huge, round 34 mm planchet. The long pillar and perfect cross variety. One of the highest quality Lima 1699 from the Fleet. NGC "MS 62 1715 Plate Fleet". 

 

     We do not know why the assayer Miguel de Rojas (R), a Lima gold assayer only in 1699, was so inconsistent in his production. Apparently he had only two sets of dies with which to strike what turned out to the largest Lima coinage under Carlos II. Bad luck struck almost immediately when one of his cross dies fractured badly, forcing him to strike a large percentage of his onza coinage with a cross die disfigured by a large diagonal crack. Lima 1699's also show a tremendous range in planchet size, ranging from huge 34 mm like this onza to some fat little 31 mm planchets with no room for legends. Most 1699 Lima, large or small planchet, show very little legend, testifying to striking problems. Coins like this 1699 that are struck very boldly in the center but lose definition toward the edge were struck with too much pressure, as any mint worker knows. Too much pressure of course wears and fractures dies, probably explaining why Rojas' cross die quickly failed. Rojas was a successful silver assayer for many years, but 1699 was the only year he attempted gold, with unfortunately poor results.

 

   In late July of 1715 this Lima onza was headed to Spain, possibly in the possession of the same Spanish merchant who had received it  years before from the Lima mint. This onza never saw circulation in commerce. No Treasure Fleets had tried for Spain since the disaster of 1708. Once again the Spanish were unlucky in trying to sail home with their treasure. This time a powerful hurricane was waiting in the Bahama Straits for General Ubilla's Fleet. The Fleet was shattered on the Florida coast on the night of July 31st. This beautiful Lima onza was a very lucky to survive that tragedy, its owner probably did not.

 

   

 

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