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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the rare Lima 1702 H eight escudos,

one of two attested Fleet specimens,

lustrous mint state NGC MS 61.



     Lou Ullian's certificate tells the story of this Fleet rarity. Only five 1702 are known, just two of these with  documented 1715 Fleet provenance. This 1702 was found by Real 8 partner Bob Johnson on the Nieves site (Colored Beach) on Memorial Day, 1964. in a disintegrated chest(!) of Lima and Mexican gold cobs.  Where oh where have all the gold chests gone!


   As Lou says, this is a "very photogenic" coin. It was struck on large (nearly 34 mm), very round planchet with an almost perfect centering that discloses full legends. It is a plate coin pictured as #218 in Calico's definitive study LA ONZA. The cross side is without question the finest known on a Hurtado Philip V onza. The cross side legend reads PHILIPPUS V D G HISPA in large bold letters. HISPA abbreviates HISPANIARUM. The pillar side legend continues with ET YNDIARUM REX. The pillar side design shows the crowned Pillars of Hercules rising from the waves. Three registers are spaced across the pillars. On the top one we have L--8--H, telling us this is Lima 8 escudos struck by assayer Hurtado. In the bottom register we have the date 7--0--2 . The 7 is positioned far left, as often happens of Lima onzas; the 0 is very small digit, probably from punches normally used with two escudos. When the 8 escudos punches were damaged, Lima coiners just picked whatever was available and got the job done.


Calico calls this coin "rarissima", which, considering there are a total of five surviving 1702's, is somewhat of an understatement. If we compare the surviving population of 1702 and 1712 Limas, we find that the 1702 is a little more than 40 times rarer! Remembering that only two 1702 have good Fleet provenance, the comparison becomes about 100 times rarer for a Fleet 1702. Looked at another way, only two 1715 Fleet collection can have a 1702. Choice 1712's now bring $18,000-20,000. What then is a very choice Fleet 1702 worth?


   This 1702 Lima sold before the recent record prices in Treasure Auction 6 (2009), lot 21 pictured above, realizing $25,300. Since then NGC has reviewed the coin and agrees that it is choice mint state specimen, NGC MS 61.



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