Our Treasure of the Month for April is something that has never been photographed before and is likely never to be photographed again. It is a neatly stacked group of gold Royals from the Spanish colonial mint at Mexico City. These specially struck coins are on broad, thin, round planchets. The legends are complete and the engraving is of the finest quality. Just why they were made is a matter of ongoing debate but no one can debate their relative rarity. The exact number of Royals of all denominations that have been recovered from the 1715 Fleet is a matter of conjecture but a fair estimate would be less than fifty. Seven reside in the State of Florida Collection (1702-1714).
Seven of the Royals featured in our stack (six dated 1711 and one dated 1712) were found on July 30-31, 2015 which oddly enough coincided with the 300th Anniversary of the loss of the 1715 Fleet in a massive hurricane. Two more (one 1711 and one 1712) were found in the weeks following the recovery of the original seven. They were all recovered in the same area (Corrigan’s Wreck site near Vero Beach, Florida).
Those who are avid collectors of Fleet related coinage consider owning a Royal as the ultimate prize. The current cost of these unique specimens, however, remains beyond the reach of even the most dedicated collector. Recently, several Royals were auctioned through Aureo-Calico in Barcelona and brought huge numbers. Here is a two excudos Royal (Mexico) that sold for $67,000.00 A similar four escudo sold for $109,000.00 and an eight went for $309,000.00.
Thanks to Fleet Society member Jonah Martinez for providing our Treasure of the Month Image. For more pictures and information regarding this month’s treasure see our Treasure of the Month for September, 2015.