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Setting Shipwreck Coins in Heirloom Jewelry

See how Robert crafts Mel Fisher Atocha and Sao Jose heirloom shipwreck necklaces... and see a fun fact about our latest Atocha 2 Reale Shipwreck necklace.

Here, Robert explains how he sets shipwreck treasure coins in necklaces… using a stunning Atocha shipwreck treasure and two Sao Jose shipwreck coins as examples…


Creating Shipwreck Treasure Coin JewelryWell here we are, I am finishing up. I just put the prongs on these bezels and now I am using a cup burr to round the edges down on them before I go on into the final finishing of these.

Maritime Shackle Bail on Treasure Coin NecklaceI just put the shackle bails on the bezels which is a real trick to do without melting everything.

But as you know, I build the frame all the way around the coin first and then do all the finishing and heating without the coin in place that there's no heat or damage to the coin.

Making Atocha Shipwreck Coin NecklacesThis is a beautiful 4 reale from the Sao Jose that sank off in the Mozambique Channel in 1622, same year as the Atocha but this coin was minted in Seville, Spain.

Z at a 2 On Atocha 1622 2 Reale Shipwreck coinAnd interestingly enough I happen to be working with an Atocha 2 reale, as well, that has a beautiful cross. This is a very rare denomination, a very desirable denomination (a 2 Reale). This  particular assayer - see the Z right there -  you can see the Z right there that is a "2" but that's the way this particular assayer, if I remember correctly, right around 1618 when this coin was minted, that's the way he made his number 2.

This is going to be a very beautiful, very rare Atocha piece and then, the Sao Jose…

Sao Jose Shipwreck Coin NecklaceThese are all perfect pendant size for for a lady or a gentleman. But this is a combination bezel of 18kt gold and sterling. What's really cool about this is that you'll notice on a lot of these coins here like this Consolacion shipwreck piece or Isla de Muerto, you can see a lot of detail on both sides of the coin, because this came from the inside of a treasure chest and was gently removed for conservation. See how pretty this cross side is? Well look at the reverse, you can't see anything on the shield side here and the reason why is that this coin was laying up against a whole bunch of other coins in the chest and this side was exposed to all the saltwater, and this side wasn't, and so the natural electrolysis in the ocean creates that effect. Luckily the cross side, which is the most desirable and and popular side. is preserved perfectly.

Consolacion Shipwreck Coin NecklaceSo as soon as I get done with these then I am going on to putting these guys  (2 reales - from the Consolacion that sank in 1681 off of Ecuador because she was being chased by pirates) into necklaces.

There are very few pirate treasure coins. This is in mint condition. It is dated 1656. And so I'm going to… so keep an eye (there's the 2 see there's a different kind of different style of 2) see that denomination 2 right there and then beautiful "PLVS VLTRA" which means More Beyond The Pillars of Hercules?

Alright folks, thanks for watching!

To view our Atocha Shipwreck Jewelry Collection, click here>>>

To view our Sao Jose Shipwreck Jewelry Collection, click here>>>

To view our Consolacion Shipwreck Jewelry Collection, click here>>>

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