Commanded by Lieutenant-General Rodrigo de Torres aboard the gun navio, El Rubi, the flota consisted of three other armed navios, sixteen merchant naos, and two smaller ships carrying supplies to the Presidio of St. The following day, after the vessels sighted the Florida Keys, the wind shifted abruptly from the east and increased in velocity.
Lieutenant-General Torres, sensing an approaching hurricane, ordered his captains to turn back to Havana and to sail as close to the wind as possible, but it was too late. By nightfall of the fifteenth, all or most of the ships had been driven westward and scattered, sunk, or swamped along eighty miles of the Florida Keys.
Spanish Colonial Coins
Four ships made it safely back to Havana. Another vessel, the galleon El Africa, managed to sail on to Spain undamaged. Survivors gathered in small groups throughout the low islands and built crude shelters from debris that had washed ashore. Spanish admiralty officials in Havana, worried about the fate of the fleet, sent a small sloop to search for wrecks.
Before the sloop could return, another boat arrived in the harbor and reported seeing many large ships grounded near a place called "Head of the Martyrs. Soldiers were on board to protect the shore camps and the recovered cargo. Vessels that could not be refloated and towed back to Havana were burned to the waterline, enabling divers to descend into the cargo holds, and also concealing the wrecks from freebooters.
The work continued for years, with the salvors working under the watchful scrutiny of guardships. The location of each shipwreck was charted on several maps.
When a final calculation of salvaged materials was made, more gold and silver was recovered than had been listed on the original manifests, the tell-tale evidence of contraband aboard the homeward-bound vessels. In the s, most of the wrecks associated with the fleet were relocated by modern divers.
Spanish Milled Coinage
Although many documents relating to the Spanish salvage operations have been consulted, confusion still exists about the identities of some of the wrecks, since names and locations differ depending on the documents examined.
Unfortunately, some of the historical and archaeological value of these sites has suffered from insufficient recordkeeping on the part of modern salvors. However, beginning in the State of Florida initiated a salvage contract program overseen by State appointed agents with archaeological oversight. The sites represent some of the oldest artificial reefs in North America, supporting complex ecosystems of marine life that have thrived generation after generation over the centuries.
Florida Department of State. Plate Fleets.A tocha Coin Assayer. Potosi Mint. Potosi Mint - Mint Mark "P". Assayer's Mark. Alonso de Rincon. Shield Design. Philip II. B over struck C - "C" formerly from La Plata. Juan de Ballesteros Narvaez. B over A found on Atocha. Juan Alvarez Reinaltes. Juan de Ballesteros Narvaez Xs on borders. Philip III. B over R found on Atocha. Baltasar Ramos Leceta. Ramos Leceta dated coins on Atocha.
Assistant to Ballesteros. Augustin de la Quadra. Juan Munoz - first dated coins Garcia de Paredes y Ulloa. Philip IV. Pedro Trevino. Geronimo Velazquez.
Pedro Zambrano. Juan Rodriquez de Roas - O with dot in center. Antonio de Erqueta last shield design. Carlos II. Pedro de Villar. Monogram for Pedro de Villar.Much like the Fleet disaster above, the Fleet was another entire Spanish convoy except for one ship lost in a hurricane off Florida. The lesser severity of the hurricane which struck the fleet on July 15 and the shallowness of the wrecksites in the Keys, however, made for many survivors and even left four ships in good enough condition to be re-floated and sent back to Havana.
In addition, many other related sites are known, mostly the wrecks of tag-along ships that accompanied the fleet proper. Throughout the next several decades, however, the wrecksites in the Keys became a virtual free-for-all, with many disputes and confrontations, until the government created the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in The removal of artifacts from any of the sites is prohibited today.
In contrast to the Fleet, and because of the extensive Spanish salvage in the s, the finds by modern divers have been modest, especially in gold coins, of which there are far more fakes on the market than genuine specimens! Phone: We welcome your order, want lists, comments, and suggestions.
The coins have different Spanish kings during different periods of time. Look for the name on the side with the shield and crown. Likewise, these coins have different mint marks for different Spanish countries in the New World. Use our Terminology page. The first 8 reales was issued in Mexico City and is very rare. Modern reproductions of it are common and are worth a few US dollars, depending on silver content. Please view our appraisal page for the modern replicas at this CoinQuest link.
Beware also of coins dated There is a well-known counterfeit of this date, shown here. See below for more info on counterfeits. Here are typical catalog values for coins like our picture between and Be sure to check the Terminology page to interpret these catalog values properly. We have cited the important examples below with catalog values for coins in worn condition.
Coins in better condition are worth more. Coins marked 'very rare' are just that or counterfeit : see a professional.
Find Coins. Browse Coins. Coins by Location. Coins by Genre. About CoinQuest.One of the most fascinating areas of world coin collecting is that of Spanish colonials. You can find essentially the same coins minted in the Spanish colonies of Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru, from the early s to the early s. They circulated as far north as Canada and as far east as Florida. These coins look alike, with subtle differences in mint marks and other small details, so it takes detailed knowledge to tell them apart.
This page discusses some these details and gives approximate values. But, this is only a web page. Coin catalogs and reference books have much more detail. For instance, Spanish colonies in Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and the Philippines produced small amounts of coinage, but they are not included here.
There are also pre coins and small denominations not addressed. You can learn from this summary, but it is just a starting point. It is important to know the kings of Spain during this period, as their names and portraits appear on many coins. Methods of manufacture - There are two major types of Spanish colonials, and several sub-types.
At the highest level there are cob coins and there are milled coins. Both come in gold and silver. The rich deposits of precious metal in the New World were too much for Spanish royalty to resist. They were therefore exploited and carried back to Spain.
To hasten this process, bars of silver and gold were hacked into chunks of proper weight and struck with heavy hammers between crude, hard-metal dies. The strike imparted a Spanish pattern, or part of a Spanish pattern, into the coin. The Spanish word cabo English cob refers to the end of the bar. The size, shape and impression of these cobs was highly irregular. However, they were of proper weight, and that is what mattered to Spanish officials.
If a cob was overweight, the minter simply clipped a piece off. Eventually the crude manufacture of cob coins was replaced by more modern minting technology. Milled coins were made by rolling the silver and gold into sheets of uniform thickness and punching out coin blanks, or planchetsfor striking in large screw presses. The presses did a much better job than the hammers used to produce cobs. Denominations - There are two major denominations of Spanish colonials: reales for silver coins and escudos for gold coins.
The denominations have associated numeric values, e. You can often tell the denomination by 'R' and 'S' marking for reales and escudos. There are 16 reales in one escudo. Perhaps you have heard American folk tales with mysterious references to gold doubloons and pieces of eight. The escudos are the doubloons, and the reales are the pieces.
In fact, the US monetary system has roots in Spanish reales, with 8 reales equivalent to one dollar, 4 reales to 50 cents, 2 reales 25 cents two bitsone real 10 cents, and half real 5 cents. The graphic figure on the left shows some typical denominational markings. A stand-alone number, 1, 2, 4, or 8, with or without an R or S, indicates denomination.
Of course the size and weight of the coin indicates denomination as well. Generally, 8 reales contain about 0.
Mint Marks - Mint marks are important because they indicate the country of origin. The table below summarizes a few of the major mint marks for New World Spanish colonials. Spain herself is not included. Assayer Initials - In addition to mint marks, the collector should discern assayer initials.The real meaning: "royal", plural: reales was a unit of currency in Spain for several centuries after the midth century.
The most common denomination for the currency was the silver eight-real Spanish dollar Real de a 8 or peso which was used throughout Europe, America and Asia during the height of the Spanish Empire. See also: Currency of Spanish America. The first real was introduced by King Pedro I of Castile in the mid 14th century, with 66 minted from a Castilian mark of silver It co-circulated with various other silver coins until a ordinance eliminated all other coins and retained the real now minted 67 to a mark of silver, 0.
After the discovery of silver in MexicoPeru and Bolivia in the 16th century, the 8-real coin referred to since then as a dollara peso or a piece of eight became an internationally recognized trade coin in Europe, Asia and North America. This Spanish colonial real was subsequently referred to as moneda nacional national money and underwent two more alterations, namely:.
The confusion to the monetary situation would not be resolved until in various stages, namely:. The loss of American possessions in the first third of the 19th century cut off the inflow of precious metals into Spain and resulted in the gradual use of French coinage in local circulation.
These subsequent changes to the Spanish currency system were never carried out in full:. The silver 8-real coin was known as the Spanish dollaror pesoor the famous piece of eight. Spanish dollars minted between and are also often referred to as columnarios.
Mexico 1732-Mo F 8 reales
The portrait variety from and later are typically referred to as Spanish dollars or pillar dollars. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 7 October Retrieved 17 July The American Historical Review.
Ancient Egyptian artifacts. Ancient Jewelry. Ancient Roman Empire. Ancient Greece. Celtic tribes.Mexico: 1610/09, “F/A”. 8 Reales. Cob Blog #5
Byzantine Empire. Ancient Persia. Ancient Gold. Pre-Columbian artifacts. Ancient Armenia. Etruscan artifacts. Ancient Asia. Indus Valley. Phoenician artifacts. Carthage, North Africa. Viking, Norman, Anglo-Saxon. Hittite artifacts. Scythian artifacts. Native American artifacts. Moon rock, Mars rock, meteorites. Book Store. Gift Certificates. A small group of lead musketballs from the wrecks of the Fleet fleet off the coast of Florida.
Common, simple balls of uniform sizes with dark gray surfaces.