For our Treasure of the Month for October, we revisit last year’s discovery of several hundred gold coins on July 30 and 31, 2015, which corresponded to the 300th Anniversary of the loss of the 1715 Fleet. It was indeed a historic irony that these coins were found 300 years ago to the day when they were actually committed to the ocean.
The image above depicts a handful of gold two escudos from the Spanish colonial mints of Mexico and Santa Fe de Bogotá. This group of gold doubloons was found by diver Bill Bartlett on the morning of July 31, 2015.
Among those present on board that day was Rick Beleson. Rick, who provided the narrative for this text, described how he just happened to be on board the vessel Capitana when these coins were discovered. In his words:
“This was one of the highlights of my life. It’s funny how things happen. Had I not picked up the local paper on Sunday morning, July 26, 2015, I would not have seen the picture of the Capitana anchored so close to the beach. On Thursday night, July 30, 2015, I was attending the 300th Anniversary Commemorative Banquet in Sebastian when I heard rumors of a great discovery that occurred that afternoon. These rumors made me curious so I stopped at Turtle Trail on my way to the Vero Beach Library to hear a Friday morning lecture. That is how I ended up on the deck of the Capitana when these coins were found. It was all so very coincidental.”
Below are several other pictures of the exciting events of July 31, 2015. First is a picture of Bill Bartlett displaying the gold coins that he found that day. The other image is of Rick Beleson at the Corrigan’s A place where one of the ships from the 1715 Fleet wrecked. Includes the beach and the water in the vicinity of the wreck. with the vessel Capitana in the background. Note how close to the shore the vessel was when these coins were actually found.
Our thanks to Rick Beleson for providing us the text and images.