In this section of our Photo Gallery we are pleased to exhibit what we call the “Treasures of the State of Florida Collection”. Beginning in the early 60’s, the State of Florida authorized private salvage operations in Florida waters by implementing a program of leasing arrangements. The leases required each operator to share with the state a certain portion of recovered treasure. Through an annual “division” of finds with its leasees the State of Florida acquired a vast collection of Spanish colonial coins and artifacts.
This collection is now under the care of the Bureau of Archaeological Research and is located at the Archaeological Collections and Conservation Lab In Tallahassee, Florida. It is not often that one gets an opportunity to “peek” into the Lab and get a glimpse of this rich historical treasure trove. Fortunately, through permission obtained by the 1715 Fleet Society, this opportunity presents itself. Each item featured below is identified by a special inventory number. The official description of the coin or artifact is just as it is found in the directory maintained by the Bureau of Archaeological Reasarch.
Credit for the use of these photographs goes to the Florida Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research.
SPECIAL THANKS to David Dickel, Florida Division of Historical Resources for his help in securing these photographs and supplying
1715 Dated Mexican Eight Reales
A tremendous quantity of silver coinage sailed in the hulls of the 1715 Fleet. By themselves the Capitana and the Almiranta of Ubilla’s Nueva Espana Flota carried 2390 chests of Mexican cob reales at 3000 pesos per chest. Over the last 50 years the state of Florida has amassed an amazing collection of 2200 cob reales (92% Mexian cobs).
Dr. Alan Craig has studied this collection and in 2000 published an excellent monograph on this subject. Recently, through the kind auspices of the Florida Division of Historical Resources, we were provided with high resolution images of all of the fully dated or partially dated 1715 Mexico Eight reales in the State of Florida Collection. Consisting of 105 images (obverse and reverse) the Fleet Society is proud and honored to be given permission to showcase these coins. We will be featuring these coins in three groups of 35 coins each. Our first offering is below. We hope you enjoy them.
We would like to thank Marie Prentice, Senior Archaeologist with the Bureau of Archaeological Research, who very graciously agreed to photograph the cobs in question that reside in the Florida Collection. Also, I would like to thank David Rinehart of Melbourne, Florida who has been doing research on 1715 dated Mexico Eight reales who arranged for the Fleet Society to get a copy of the DVD-R that was created by Marie Prentice and her staff. All images are courtesy of the Florida Division of Historical Resources.