For this May, we take you back to July of 2010, when Greg Bounds and his crew, working the Corrigan’s site, made a discovery of historical and numismatic importance. They discovered a swivel gun from one of Echevers’ prize ships.
But not a typical swivel gun, for on examination it proved to be packed not with cannon shot but with gold and silver coins. Pretty expensive grapeshot! Coins did not usually travel to Spain in gun barrels, unless of course they were being smuggled. No other ordinance recovered from Fleet wrecks has been found associated with smuggled treasure.
Probably the most important coin to emerge from the “Swivel Gun Hoard” is pictured above. Students of the failed gold mint at Cuzco (1698-99) did not expect that the troubled mint attempted any special productions, but here is a large (24 mm), round, well centered, carefully struck issue, apparently Cuzco best attempt at a galano or royal, intended no doubt for some special occasion like the much delayed opening of the mint.
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The Fleet Society would like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Greg Bounds, Mike Brown, and Ernie Richards in preparing the story of the recovery of this Cuzco two escudos. The coin was featured as the cover story for Ernie’s PLUS ULTRA, 3rd quarter of 2010.