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1715 Season Brings Gold

For the month of June, Sea Reaper and Seatrepid have been hard at work on the 1715 sites, and the first working month of the season has been a success. On the second day of working under contract with 1715 Fleet Queens Jewels, LLC, the crew onboard the newest excavation vessel, Seatrepid, recovered a gold coin while working on the Douglass Beach site. Two weeks later, they recovered two more.

John Brandon on the dive ladder of excavation vessel Seatrepid at a 1715 site.

The three coins are each of a different mint—Mexico, Lima and Bogota. Recovered within a few hundred yards one another, they are an example of the diversity of currency carried onboard the 1715 galleons.

Mexico one escudo recovered on the second work day of the 1715 season.

The Mexico mint coin is a one escudo. The markings on the shield side of the coin show a full shield and partially visible date of 1715, as well as a doubled shield that resulted from a die bounce that happened occasionally when the coins were minted. The intact markings and unique double strike make this as a desirable 1715 one escudo.

The Lima mint coin is dated 1710 and has a visible assayer mark, H. The H stands for Francisco Hurtado, who was the Lima mint assayer intermittently over a period of years, specifically from 1696-1698, 1700-1706, 1707-1709, and finally 1710. Captain Hurtado worked with the veteran assayer Leonardo de Rojas in 1706

Lima two escudo dated 1710 (left), and early Bogota mint two escudo (right),

recovered on the same day from the Douglass Beach site.

The Bogota mint coin also has a visible assayer mark, A. The assayer was Alonso de Anuncibay, who was an apprentice under Pinto Camargo. Anuncibay was named assayer on May 29, 1632, and died in 1642, indicating that this is an early example of a Bogota coin. During Anuncibay’s tenure, the production of gold coinage often outpaced silver coinage.

MRR diver Levin Shavers recovers a Mexico one escudo.

Divers onboard the Sea Reaper have also recovered some exciting artifacts in a new area of the Douglass Beach site, including an encrusted object—possibly a tool—which will be identified at the 1715 Fleet Queens Jewels conservation laboratory.

We are at the height of the season. The Vessels are in good shape and the crew is determined to make it happen. Stay tuned!

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