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Shipwreck swag/ Pirate booty (?)/Mystery...?!


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For my 41st extraction day, my wonderful Dad gave me a CNG certified "Shipwreck" coin. In the excitement, I forgot what wreck pops said it was fromūü§ď


So, I went to the source and looked on CNG and found this listing. Buckle your seats for a tale so fantastic, that it must be "real"

"From the El Cazador, Bound for New Orleans (1784)

MEXICO, Colonial. Carlos III. King of Spain, 1759-1788. AR 8 Reales (38mm, 12h). Ciudad de México (Mexico City) mint; Francisco de la Pena and Francisco Arance Cobos, assayers. Dated 1783 Mo FF. Grove 1340; KM 106.2. Fine, toned. In an NGC Shpwreck Certification holder marked Genuine. From the wreck of the El Cazador.

In early 1784, the¬†El Cazador¬†(‚ÄúThe Hunter‚ÄĚ) set sail from Veracruz to New Orleans. The economy of the then-Spanish colony of Louisiana was in such a poor state that the colonialists were on the brink of revolution. Hard currency was desperately needed, and the¬†El Cazador, loaded with Spanish silver coins struck at the Mexico City mint, was launched to resolve the situation. The ship never arrived, for reasons that are unclear. Spanish attempts to locate and retrieve the treasure failed, and in June 1784 the ship was officially declared as lost at sea.

It would take over two centuries for the treasure to be located. In August 1993 the fishing boat Mistake snagged its nets in the Gulf of Mexico. When the nets were dumped on the deck, the crew was shocked to find they had hoisted silver coins."

And that's where the story ends. Was it pirates, bad weather, a drunken top sail in the crows nest???



Clearly, I've some FUN researching ahead. But would love to read if anyone else is aware of this tale of treasure and tragedy that can illuminate it to me further. 

I haven't seen @barry Murphy over yet, otherwise I would tag him..

Hope to see him soonūüėä

Here are some other coins sure to have purchased a flagon of ale!

Sextus Pompeius was a pirate before it was cool:


And some Spanish coinage, "Reals" of eight n such:




So please share with me all your Shipwreck swag, pirate booty, coins that have clearly spent some time under water!


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Nice one Ryan! I was not aware of the El Cazador. That should be some fun research ahead for you.

Here is my only shipwreck coin. It’s from the Admiral Garder which sank on Jan. 24, 1809. The coins were recovered in 1985.

Needs an updated photo.


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Nice coins!  The El Cazador real has a lot of history behind it, and the denarius and Spanish minors are very nice.

I remember the night of the storm that swept through Michigan, the same storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald.  An incredible amount of rain hit Detroit, flooding freeways.  There was also a lot of thunder and high winds.  

The only salvaged coin that I have photographed so far is the 8 reales from the Atocha.

Potosi, 8 reales cob, 1617 M.

Atocha Reference Collection, # 208. 

27.2 grams



Do you own a copy of The Practical Book of Cobs, written by Frank and Daniel Sedwick?  If not, I high recommend it.  There's a very good chapter on shipwrecks, as well as other chapters with dealing with the Spanish hammer struck coinage of colonial Latin America.

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This happened a lot. Since the Old World got all their silver from the New World, many ships departed South American ports laden with coins. This attracted pirates, but invariably, they sank because of bad weather or getting too close to rocks.

Charles II of Spain Eight Reales Cob (Piece of Eight), 1676


Potos√≠, Bolivia. Silver, 40mm, 17.93g. Pillars; mintmark P / 8 / assayer E (Antonio de Ergueta); PLV¬∑SVL¬∑TRA; POTOSI ANO, date, EL PERV (Potos√≠, Peru). Quarterly of lions and castles; P / 8 / E / date; CAROLUS¬∑II¬∑D¬∑G¬∑HISPAN¬∑ (S-P37b). Recovered from Consolaci√≥n, sunk after striking a reef in 1681 off Santa Clara Island, Ecuador. A delay in receiving coins from the Potosi mint (which travelled by llama and mule) prevented her from sailing with the rest of the armada. When the lone ship, with a cargo of perhaps 100,000 Spanish dollars, heard pirates under the command of notorious buccaneer Bartholomew Sharp were in the area, the captain decided to ground on Santa Clara Island (‚ÄėIsland of the Dead‚Äô), but struck a reef. The vessel was evacuated and intentionally set on fire to prevent it being plundered. From Daniel Sedwick.

Edited by John Conduitt
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The first 8 reale is from the wreak Johanna that went agound off the cape of South Africa. The next a 8 reale from the Atocha look closely its double struck....most probably a bounce of the die when hit with the hammer.

The next is another Atocha 4 reale which are rarer than the 8's. It became a 50 th birthday gift for the wife.

Lastly a cob struck in Seville Spain what so unique about this cob its been shaved down to cut silver off to make a payment or a bill.









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