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)




M24. Viceroyalty of Nueva Espana, mint of  Mexico City, Mexico 1713 MXo J eight escudos. Choice mint state, lustrous gold color, struck on a large planchet, full cross-fleury, bits of gray-blue coral confirming its Douglass Beach 1715 Fleet wreck site. NGC MS 62 1715 Fleet.  SOLD

The Mexican onza of 1713 is a one-year type. The cross fleury reverse, introduced in 1711, continues for its final year in 1713, but the obverse is re-designed with a new crown, a modified shield, and quafrafoil stops inside the inner border. The shield of 1713 removes the triangle of Granada, which since 1702 had been positioned just to the left and above the central Bourbon escutcheon. Why the triangle of Granada is removed in 1713 is not known.

For reasons we don't yet understand, 1713 represented the absolute bottom of the barrel for the quality of die and coin production at Mexico City under Philip V (1700-1747). Gold dies were hand-engraved by an (appentice?) diecutter who was plainly unable to trace a straight line. Look at all the wavy lines in the shield. This is the way the die was cut. Similarly for the crosslets of the cross fleury (complete on this coin, which is rare). The tressure is irregular and mis-shapen. We could go on. The coiners apparently took their clue from the die cutter: no effort was to produce round, Lima-style planchets or center-strike the planchets. Perhaps 90% of 1713 Mexican 8 escudos are just plain ugly. For a 1713, this ia beauty!

Before the salvages of the 1715 Fleet no 1713 onzas were known to have survived. Admiral Ubilla's fleet sat in Vera Cruz for 29 months between December of 1712 and May of 1715. No other treasure ships sailed for Spain in that period. Whatever part of the 1713 and 1714 gold mintage was being sent to Spain, privately or as royal revenue, was on Ubilla's capitana and almirante. Modern salvages of the Fleet have netted about fifty 1713 onzas for the Florida State Collection and about twice that number for collectors. Our recent die study of the 1713 onza found that four shield and five cross dies were used to strike the surviving mintage, a somewhat surprisingly large number given our estimate of a 10,000 coin orignal mintage. According to the taxonomy of our study, this coin was struck from Shield Die 3 and Cross Die D, the rarest 1713 die combination represented by just two coins. Of the five clearly attested cross dies for the 1713 onza, Cross die D is perhaps the easiest to identify: one section of the main crossbars is noticeably bent and ends in two failing crosslets. This die is at the end of its usuable life. All  1713's in the  Florida State Collection were found on Douglass Beach, whence almost certainly this Fleet coin.