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Plus Ultra Cover Coin 2nd Quarter 2016

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

Plus Ultra Cover Coin 2nd Quarter 2016

The previous Cover Coin was an 8-reales which brought a boatload of documentation to its buyer, Ben Costello. The Cover Coin(s) this time have the same provenience but are of a different denomination. Dave Crooks, an attorney and avid coin and book collector from near Chicago, chose to purchase a couple of 4-real pieces from the “Kip Wagner-documented” coins available at the 2016 FUN Coin Convention in Tampa. This is in addition to several 8-reales. We have made a “montage” of the coins’ photos, laying Coin #2 onto Coin #1 on page-1.

Coin #1 measures 32mm across the corners (its largest diameter), and it weighs 13.5 grams. The “tail” of the “7” in the date shows, while the bottoms of the “I” and “4” are also apparent in the legend of the obverse. This, in addition to the “full” Bourbon Crest eclipsing the lower-right castle, make this a solidly-attributed specimen from 1714. There was no doubt about that, but the “cruz florenzada” quartering the lions and castles on the reverse (page-2) doubly identify this as a piece out of the Mexico City mint.

The major diameter of Coin #2, the rounder piece, measures 28mm, while it weighs in at 12.8 grams. Dave calls it a “nice, chunky 4R with a deep strike.” This specimen also displays a portion of the date, though not enough for attribution. However, the smaller Bourbon crest, which does not override the lower-right castle —plus the full fess of Austria— make this piece a likely 1713 issue. The reverse of Coin #2 is overly hammered on its periphery, leaving only the central part of the planchet to receive the die strike. —EJR         

[FOTOS by Dave Crooks]

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