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.


















                             NUESTRA SENORA DE LA LUZ                                                                        




S11. Santiago, Chile. 1750 So J 8 escudos. NGC "MS 62 La Luz". One of the finest 1750 Santiago 8 escudos recovered from the wreck of Nuestra Senora de la Luz. 1750 was the first year Santiago undertook to strike 8 escudos and had great trouble using the new Spanish mechanical presses. Weak striking pressures resulted in the portrait of Ferdinand VI showing very poor detail. Very few specimens show any relief in the wig and face of Ferdinand. The embarrassesd Santiago mint officials sought help from Spain but were not able to correct the problem in 1750. 


The decline of Spanish power in the Pacific and Caribbean meant that by the mid-18th century gold for the Spanish crown was often transshipped across South America and embarked for Spain at Buenes Aires, Montevideo or other Eastern ports. Because of the tragic loss of  Nuestra Senora de la Luz in Montevideo harbor in July 1752, we have a window on the beginnings of coinage at the new Santiago mint and the final cob coinage at Lima. Without the treasure of the Luz, most of these issues would be known only from literary sources or from a few well worn examples. Among the treasure of the Luz was a small group of 1750 onzas and a larger shipment of the new 1751 Santiago onzas. When Ruben Collado salvaged the Luz in 1992-93, he made a study of the 1750-51 Santiago onzas, before dividing the treasure between two larger public sales and some private sales.



I have seen dozens of Santiago 1750 onzas from the wreck of Nuestra Senora de la Luz, including the Sotheby's coins offered in March 1993. Perhaps three specimens showed a decent strike. Almost all fall in the AU55- MS61 range, held back principally by poor strikes (especially on the bust of Ferdinand VII) and also by sea corrosion. For reasons not yet understood, the new mint at Santiago decided to strike their onzas from high relief dies and on polished planchets. In a word, in near proof quality! Like our own experiment with high-relief gold in 1907, the Santiago mint's noble experiment soon proved impractical. Most onzas came off the dies with poor strikes on one or both sides. Government officials complained about the ugly, flatten bust of Ferdinand, and by 1751 the mint went back to striking onzas with normal relief. But among the onzas of 1750, those few that did come off the dies with decent strikes remain among the most attractive gold issue of the Spanish Americas.


Sea corrosion hurts some Santiago onzas by darkening their highly reflective fields. Prooklike surfaces remain visible in the sheltered areas of the legends, while the open fields especially around Ferdinand's bust are dull and dark. Not on this coin! Its fields remain uniformily prooflike. By chance this 1750 onza came off the dies at Santiago with a good strike and and then miraculously survived 240 years at the bottom of Montevideo harbor.






Available or 480-595-1293.







S5. A  rare Santiago 1750 four escudos,

the entire surviving population of about 130 coins recovered

from the wreck of Nuestra Senora de la Luz.

This curious variety shows the final digit 0 repunched over a 5.

Apparently the die engravers had originally dated the issue 1755! A few dozen example of this terribly struck early issue show the 1750/5 overdate. SOLD




























This curious variety shows the final digit 0 repunched over a 5. Apparently the die engravers had originally dated the issue 1755!  Only a few dozen example of this early issue show the 1750/5 overdate.














 NGC in their wisdom have decided to call this absolutely mint state LUZ four escudos an AU 58, confusing, I suspect, strike and wear. NO 1750 Santiagos are well struck or even decently struck. In the first two years of operation the new mint at Santiago did not know how to control striking pressures. It was not until 1751 that well struck 8 and 4 escudos began to be produced in Santiago. This 1750 is far above average in the quality of its strike. Detail on the bust of Ferdinand and on the Bourbon shield is quite good compared to most the surviving population. The coin has excellent luster over prooflike fields. My photos do not do it justice.













































©2007 All Rights Reserved.

















©2007 All Rights Reserved.