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






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                     Mexico 8 Escudos from the 1715 Fleet




M26.  Mexico, 8 escudos, Mo J 1714.  NGC MS 64.  [sold] 


         My photos cannot do justice to the flashing luster and bold strike on this Mexico 1714 onza, the finest NGC has seen. It looks like it came from the Mexico City mint yesterday instead of spending 250 years on a Florida wreck of the 1715 Fleet. I have owned several dozen attractive 1714 Fleet Mexico onzas, but this is the most spectacular.



NGC has graded this onza MS64 (none higher). If this is a MS 64, I cannot imagine what a MS65 would like! If you want the best, this is the 8 escudos for you.




This 1714 Mexico onza was a star of Ponterio's auction #158, where it realized $17,250. If you are interested (and care to pay about fifteen times that amount), you can go after a 1714 Royal. But as production strikes go, this one is unimprovable.


Sold or 480-595-1293





M39. Mexico, 8 escudos, 1715 Mo J, from the 1715 Fleet .

         Mint state, lustrous, and with a very bold four digit date.

         Found on the Cabin Wreck site in 1972.






When Admiral Ubilla's Nueva Espana Fleet left Vera Cruz on May 6,1715, it carried a tremendous fortune, more than 5 million pesos in gold and silver, including almost all of the gold struck that year at the Mexico City mint. Ubilla divided the gold and silver between his flagship or capitana La Regla and his almiranta Santo Cristo de san Roman. Ubilla's trusted deputy, Admiral Don Francisco Salmon, commanded the 450 ton San Roman. The San Roman's captain, Yrrarte, and its pilot, Ynda, were probably the best in the 1715 Fleet. In any case, they did the best job of trying to outrun the hurricane that on the night of July 31st was destroying the Fleet in the Florida Straits. But outrun it they did not, and the San Roman was finally driven unto the reefs just south of Sebastian Inlet and torn apart. Salmon and Yrrarte and Ynda and most of the other people on the San Roman perished that night. The treasure of the San Roman settled comfortably into the sandy reefs along what 250 years later came to be called the Cabin Wreck. This 1715 Mexico eight escudos, found in the 1970's off Cabin Wreck, was on last voyage of the San Roman.




None of 1715 Mexican escudos, fresh from the mint, had a chance to circulate. All are mint state, some like this one fully lustrous and with the beautiful color of newly minted gold. On its first visit to a grading service, NGC has decided to grade this coin AU 58 for reasons only they know.

Full date 1715 Mexican onzas are very scarce and in great demand. Many Fleet collectors want their Fleet coins dated 1715, and this has contributed to an ever growing "1715 premium" over the more common 1714's. A choice 1715 onza (but with doubled cross) recently realized $32,000 at a Heritage sale. Even full date 1715 8 reales have broken through the $5000 barrier. The lesson here is that if you want a choice 1715 8 escudos, I don't recommend waiting.


Available. Price on request. or 480-595-1293





M34. Mexico, MXo J, 8 escudos, 1711 Ornate Cross.

         Nearly mint state, lustrous, very well struck, from the

         1715  Fleet  [SOLD]       


 In 1711, assayer Jose (J) Eustaquio de Leon presided over a yet unexplained (less than) one-year experimental redesign of Mexican gold coinage. The most dramatic feature of this redesign is the cross side tressure which uses ornate scallop-shaped bridges between the crossbars. The fleurs-de-lis are also restyled with wider, asymmetric loops. No Royals were produced with this short-lived ornate design. Indeed the known Royals of this date use a Cross Fleury design, which became the standard style for 1711-1713.  Onzas of 1711 with the Ornate Cross design are very scarce and virtually always have multiple striking and planchet problems. No choice or gem specimens exist. In the absence of a Royal, the ONLY 1711 onza giving us a complete picture of the Ornate Cross design is this coin,  soon to be the 1711 Plate coin in the new editions of Calico, Cayon, etc.




As we said, for reasons that remain a mystery, in 1711 the die engravers at Mexico City were allowed to abandon the Box Cross design that they had been using since Carlos II's reign. They produced a unprecedented ornate style of cross, and then, after a very short time abandoned it in favor of the Cross Fleury design. The Mexico City mint did not capriciously change designs. Changes were on the orders of the Viceroy or the King. Philip V had other things on his mind in 1710 as the War of Spanish Succession dragged on inconclusively. It must have been on the orders of the Viceroy that the Ornate Cross was introduced and then quickly withdrawn. Some objection or problem with the Ornate Cross must have come to the Viceroy's attention. Ongoing archival at the Casa de Moneda may soon give us an answer.



The shield design of 1711 did not reflect Philip V's changing political fortunes. Most the devices incorporated in the Bourbon shield denoted territiories Philip V no longer controlled! His Hapsburg rival Carlos III and the European alliance that supported Carlos had removed Austria, Naples, and the Burgundies from Spanish domain. The shield of 1711 recognizes none of this and contents with a modest redesign of Fleurs-de-lis representing New Burgundy (see the 3 small fleurs to the right of the large central Bourbon fleurs).



SOLD. or l 480-595-1293


o #




M23.  Mexico, 8 escudos, (1703 L).  From the 1715 Fleet.

          Mexican onzas from the beginning of Philip V's reign

          are very rare. Only a handful of Lopez era (1700-05)

          onzas are known or suspected including just one dated

          coin, a 1703 (Tauler 378) now impounded in the

          Mexico City Mint Collection. Our coin die-matches that

          dated 1703 with its very distinctive fleurs and Box

          Cross tressure.

          A full and complete Box Cross is not seen on

          another non-Royal example of this design.

          Struck on a large planchet (27.0 gms, 33.5 mm). EF.

          From a distinguished collection personally formed in

          the 1960's and 1970's by Xavier Calico. [SOLD]



          For collectors who want a Mexican onza from the first years of Philip V's reign (1700-05), there are slim pickin'. I know of only two collectible coins: an undatable 8 escudos listed as Tauler 379 and our onza. Crude die engraving and careless striking are constant features of Mexican onzas until the reform of 1714. Notice, for example, the fleurs-de-lis in the angles of the cross. Someone has aptly remarked that they look like a gang of walking Saguaro cactuses! The tressure on Mexican onzas from 1695 to 1710 resemble four flattened boxes strung together, hence the name Box Cross.



         For understandable reasons the almiranta of Ubilla's 1715 Fleet has yielded a fair number of Box Cross and even Jeweled Cross Mexican onzas. Distinguished colonial officials who had been unable to return to Spain during the War of Succession (1701-13) were finally sailing back to Spain. See the Spanish Galleon Treasure auction of November, 1972, for a representative sample at lots 49-69. Many of escudos recovered from the Cabin Wreck, where Ubilla's almiranta San Roman perished, show the distinctive dark tarry deposits we see here, especially within the tressure. Taste them if you wish! They are in fact a tar-infused matrix and coral mixture unique to Cabin Wreck. Besides tar, the San Roman also carried 990 chests of gold and silver.


 SOLD or call 480-595-1293





















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