Last month, we searched the State of Florida Collection of Mexico City eight reales, looking for the one coin that stood out as exhibiting the best full and complete 1715 date. For July’s Treasure of the Month, we decided to do a parallel search. In the Florida State Collection of Mexico City eight escudos, we went hunting for the best eight escudos with a full and complete 1715 date. In his book Spanish Colonial Gold Coins in the Florida Collection (University Press of Florida, 2000), Professor Allen Craig noted that there were a total of twelve escudos in the State of Florida Collection dated 1715.
We went through the entire gold collection (twice) to isolate those specimens that exhibited any hint of a 1715 date. We located the twelve escudos identified by Professor Craig. Of this number, eight were eight escudos, two were four escudos, and the two remaining were two escudos. There was also a one escudo Royal, (galano) with a 1715 date that was not included in our analysis because galanos were produced as special presentation pieces using a press rather than by hand. Our focus here was on the eight Mexico eight escudos that bore evidence of a 1715 date.
A fully dated specimen exhibits all four digits, but not all the individual digits are complete. This is to be contrasted with a fully and completely dated specimen, which exhibits four digits that are not only visible but completely struck up when examined individually. In this collection of eight escudos, only two coins exhibited anything close to a full date. These are specimens 11.01652 and 11.01653. Neither of these two examples can be classified as bearing a full and complete date, but we have chosen 11.01652 as the better of the two fully dated (but not completely dated) coins.
For comparison sake, we have posted 11.01652 and 11.01653 so that both dates can be reviewed close up.
We have identified 11.01652 as the better of the two coins as far as the full date is concerned. On 11.01652 the first digit (1) is complete. However, the last three digits (715) are not all quite there which renders this escudos a full dated piece (as opposed to a fully and completely dated piece). 11.01653 is also a full dated piece due to the weakness of the strike on all four digits. As such, 11.01652 gets our vote as the best dated 1715 Mexico City eight escudos in the State’s Collection.
An example of a fully and completely dated 1715 Mexico City eight escudo can be seen on the Fleet Society logo below. This coin featured on our logo is from a private collection.
As a footnote, one wonders why there are so few dated 1715 coins in the State’s Collection. Perhaps this supports the proposition that considerably fewer escudos bear this date than has been assumed.
Ben Costello, Director