Jump to content

The story of "A Silver Cob"


Recommended Posts

The story of "A Silver Cob"

I received a surprising message here from robinjojo stating he wanted to send me one. A gift! What ?!?
I am sure that he saw my recent Wanted post in The Cabinet and a couple threads I started not too long ago about copper Spanish hammered coins and an 1808 8 Reales coin as my latest acquisitions.

I never expected to receive such a generous present as this . . . .

1652 8 Reales Bolivia Shipwreck Coin Potosi Mint


Imagine the journey of this coin to my hand. Slaves worked deep the mines, chipping away at the hard rock to get the silver ore. Other slaves, carried 100 plus pound sacks or baskets of ore up dangerous high ladders. Sometimes they fell to their death.


Off to the smelters around the Potosi Bolivia mining community. 
Finally cast into and cut from bars, each coin was struck by hand. Eventually, they were crossing over harsh terrain for about 200 miles to the Port of Arica (most likely) in Chile on the Pacific coast for shipment to numerous destinations in the early global economy.


This coin however, had quite a trip. I cannot say where it was recovered, but there is a good chance it was actually salvaged twice from two different shipwrecks.

After 1000 miles slowly sailing north it sank near shore in the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Slaves again dove for the treasure of the Capitana, what they salvaged was again shipped up the the isthmus of Panama and once again carried overland to the Caribbean Seaport and loaded on the Spanish ship Maravillas headed for Spain.
My guess is this coin was probably recovered south of the Bahamas in the early 1980's.

READ the two links below the confused doggie picture.

When I opened the package, I had an odd feeling, I could actually feel the history in my hand. 
I am so excited, thank you robinjojo for the great gift. I will pay forward in some way. I know it is valuable.

When I try to convey my excitement in conversation with my wife about it though, she looks at me like my dog would if I would rub a balloon in my hair and let the static electricity make it stick to a wall.




I cannot bring myself to copy this text and repost it so here is the story of the "First" shipwreck.


The MARAVILLAS Story 1656

Here is the story of the "Second" shipwreck.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

That's a very nice article!  I am glad that you like the coin and that it is spurring research into the history of cob coinage and shipwrecks.

The Practical Book of Cobs is a really good reference to own, very concise and compact.  I highly recommend it.


  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...