In cooperation with the 1715 Fleet Society and its 300th Anniversary Commemoration of the loss of this famous Spanish fleet, Cover Coins, whenever possible over this and the next three issues, will be selected from the Society’s website study set. Next up is this ruggedly handsome piece-of-eight minted at the Mexico City facility and described on the 1715FleetSociety.com site as follows…
Coin Description: Full and complete date 1715 Mexico Eight Reales. 26.1 grams. Full oM of oMJ. Obverse shield approximately 50% complete, however, the date is strong and bold. The reverse shows a well-centered cross with lions and castles visible but not distinct. Hammer marks also apparent on both obverse and reverse. Although the obverse shield and the reverse lions are not as distinct as other Research Collection pieces, the strong date and pleasing shape make this the finest example in our Collection.
OBVERSE: The position and size of the Bourbon Crest alone tell us that we have a 1714 or 1715 piece from Mexico City! The bold date confirms the year. Hammered before striking, perhaps to widen the planchet to accept more of the die, is a Pyrrhic victory of sorts, as the now-raised center of the flan accepts even less of the desired stamping.
REVERSE: Likewise, the hammered edges of the flan’s reverse also do not permit anywhere near a complete strike. However, it is the full, complete date on the obverse which gives this piece its importance.—ER