Plus Ultra Cover Coin – 2nd Quarter 2010

Welcome to our newest regular feature from the archives of the Plus Ultra Newsletter. The Plus Ultra Newsletter was published from 1983 until 2016 and was at the time considered by many to be the leading authority on all things related to the 1715 Fleet. A regular feature of each issue was the “Cover Coin” which was highlighted on the cover of each issue. Along with the coin was a short paragraph or two explaining the significance of the coin. We are indeed pleased to be able to present this “Cover Coin” from the annals of the Plus Ultra Newsletter.

For more information about the Plus Ultra Newsletter and other publications by Ernie Richards, visit En Rada Publications at

1715 Fleet Society Cover Coin Feature Image 2nd Quarter 2010

Apparently the successful buyer of this Lima 4E piece (Lot 15) in the recent Sedwick Treasure Auction #7 agreed with its description as the “FINEST KNOWN!” of its type, for it brought down the hammer at $18,400 (15% buyer’s fee included). This is the companion piece to the Lima 8E (Lot 10) from the Frank Sedwick Collection which was our Cover Coin last time. It, also, sold for a hefty price at auction: $19,550! These are two of the most important pieces to have been recovered from the fated Spanish silver fleet of 1715. They are exemplary, beautiful, and historically significant.

A 4 escudos, boldly dated 1711 and exhibiting a nearly perfect strike with “HIGH Mint State details” … our Cover Coin this time is certainly more than “choice.” The workmanship under assayer Cristobal Melgarejo was superb, and the resulting output from the mint during his tenure were exquisite specimens of numismatic art.

Frank Sedwick —progenitor of the “Sedwick Dynasty” in the study and sales of Spanish colonial coins and affectionately known as “Dr. Cobs”— had this jewel stored in his vault for some future use…or maybe just to admire from time to time. His son, Daniel Frank Sedwick, recently pulled this out of hiding, along with the “finest-known” 1712 Lima 8 escudos, and read his Dad’s notes regarding these two specimens. Dan determined that Dr. Cobs had intended to sell the pieces when their prices rose to what he thought they were worth. Thus, they were both entered in the historic Treasure Auction #7 of April 7—9, 2010.

This masterpiece, like its companion, is almost perfectly round, its pattern is well centered and deeply struck, and the color is the “butter gold” that we all admire. A Cross Potent quartering lions and castles graces the obverse, while the crosshatch design of the pillars and waves on the reverse organizes in its nine positions: L || 4 || M, for Lima, 4 escudos, and Melgarejo on the top row; P. || V. || A., for the motto PLVS VLTRA on the middle row; and 7 || 1 || 1, of the date, on the bottom row above the waves.

PHOTOS: Augi Garcia, Courtesy of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC. —ER

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