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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(Philip V 1700-1747)








Mexico 8 Reales of 1712

The first 1715 PLATE FLEET coin from Real 8 at auction with its original Christensen San Cristobal 1962 flip. 26.5 gm.

We all know of the first spectacular gold finds made by Real 8 in May of 1964 at Douglass Beach. One hundred of those escudos were promptly auctioned in October by Henry Christensen to benefit the needy partners of Real 8. But before Real 8 struck gold, it had been working the Cabin Wreck site for 3 years, finding some silver and artifacts but no gold. In January of 1961 Real 8 found its first large clump of silver, yielding hundreds of reales in fine presevaton when broken up. Like many treasure hunting companies, Real 8 had no idea how to market their finds. Everything went in the bank and they continued to struggle to cover operating costs. Kip, however, in the course of his research had made some good contacts in the numismatic world, pre-eminent among them the scholar Robert I Nesmith. Nesmith immediately proved critical in identifying and authenticating the very rare Mexican silver cobs Real 8 was fnding. Collectors and dealers had never seen anything like the coinage Real 8 was now wanting to sell. Nesmith gave Real 8 a letter of authentication to accompany their coins, and in the spring of 1962 went one step further. He persuaded the auctioneer Henry Christensen to offer a small sample of the Real 8 silver with an introduction by Nesmith himself. Lots 282-87 are shown below.

We can say without question that this 1712 came from one of the large cluster Real 8 found and broke apart in 1961. Until experts like Nesmith and Christensen began to advise them, Real 8 was in the habit of cleaning single silver coins with abrasives and in a tumbler like Mel used with the Atocha silver. The result was a notoriously shiny silver coin with considerable loss of fine detail. Mercifully the interior cluster coins did not need to be cleaned. Reverse of 1712 is below.





Mexico 1715 J 8 reales. 

Bought at the same time but privately from Nesmith and Real 8 was this choice 1715 8 reales, at the time an extremely rare coin.


 A dated 1715 8 reales is still a rare coin. Fleet specimens have sold recently for $5000. Real 8 never had a significant inventory of dated 1715's. Lou Ullian early on estimated that dated 1715's were 30-40x rarer than 1714's. But when choice 1714's were selling for $150, Real 8 was still offering 1715's for less than $1000. Almost no 1715's made it to a Real 8 auction because collector demand for the 1715 was relentless.


 Both the 1715 and 1712 above have remained in one man's collection since 1962.

Available as a pair or singly