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. A very rare Mexico 1715 J four escudos,

         one of two collectible Fleet specimens,

         found in June 29,1986 on the wrecksite of the 1715

         Fleet capitana, Nuestra Senora de la Regla

Though mint state 1715 Mexico eight and two escudos had been recovered from 1715 Fleet sites in some numbers in the 1960's and 1970's, no 1715 four escudos had surfaced from any Fleet site prior to the 1986 Season. Indeed, no 1715 four escudos were known to exist from any source.  Some scholars believed that the Mexico mint had not bothered to strike any of the rare four escudos denomination. The debate was settled on a balmy late June 1986 day when a Fisher contractor--Capt Brandon sailing the Endeavor--was working the Corrigan's site. Capt Brandon found not one, but four, Mexico 4 escudos that showed a 1715 date (plus a lone 1715 two escudos). In the annual Division with the State of Florida, the State took two of these 1715 for the Florida Collection (one is photographed on Plate 12 of Craig's SCGC).  Two remained in the hand of Mel and his contractor. Mel offered one of these 1715 four escudos as lot 181 in the June 1988 Christie's of Atocha rarities. The second 1715, the present coin, Mel placed with one of his investors, where it remained for 30 years.


This 1715 four escudos is sharply struck and has an exceptional mint state luster. It looks like it did 295 years ago when it left the Mexico City mint. The centering on this 1715 is far better than on the Christie's and Florida Collection pieces. Those 4 escudos are struck badly off-center, to the point that only one or part of two digits of the date remain on the planchets. Badly off-center Mexican escudos are not attractive coins. On this four escudos, some of the four digits are not fully struck up. The second 1, which sits in a high position relative to the rest of the day, is complete, though a piece of coral covers the top part. The distinctive Spanish 5 is quite clear. The mint mark and assayer (J) mark are bold, the shield is in high relief.

Mexican four escudos are one of the rarest series of Fleet coins. With the exception of the 1711-14 issues, many are known in only one or two specimens. A unique 1707 four escudos recently brought $23,000 at auction, a choice (though not rare) 1713 four brought $12,000. 1715 is arguably the most important Fleet date. No Lima or Bogota 1715's have been found. This 1715 Mexican four escudos is therefore the only way to own a 1715 dated Fleet four escudos. To my knowledge no one has yet completed a dated 1715 gold set. There are choices with respect to the 1, 2 and 8 escudos, but there are ONLY TWO 1715 four escudos, and this is by far the best.


Available. Price on Request.