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June 2013 Featured Treasure

June’s featured treasure is a 1695 VR eight reales coin from the Spanish colonial mint at Potosí. It’s shown in two states: to the left as found, with green oxidation and coral deposits, and to the right after some gentle conservation. In his study of the silver coinage recovered from the Fleet, Dr. Alan Craig estimated that about 2.3 percent of that coinage was from the prolific Peruvian mint of Potosí (see Spanish Colonial Silver Coins in the Florida Collection, University Press of Florida, 2000). Assayer Pedro de Villar (VR in monogram) worked at Potosí from 1679 to 1697 and seems to be the most common Potosí assayer encountered on the 1715 Fleet. This coin was recovered by diver Mike Blanchard.

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