Note from Robert: One-of-a-kind specimen - virtually uncirculated. This coin is so stunning that I used a 2mm wide frame that gives it a regal look and feel. Amazing cross and condition for its age. Considering the circa of this coin, it is fun to ponder if this coin was on one of the galleons that was sunk by Drake’s fleet in 1587. This coin is probably minted from some of the first gold to come out of the Spanish colonies. Shield design elements indicates the King’s realm: Castile and Leon; Jerusalem and Navarre; Aragon and Sicily, Granada.
We can never know the individual stories of the gold escudos discovered on the shores of Cadiz Bay, but when we consider the dates the coins were minted, we certainly can extrapolate a few things. The gold from which the escudos are minted is more than likely from New World mines, and was transported as bullion bars, since the first gold coins were not minted in Mexico City until 1622, when Atocha made her fateful journey.
For nearly 300 years Cadiz Bay was a major port for Spanish treasure galleons departing and returning from the New World - hundreds sank in the bay over these centuries. In 1587 the British privateer Sir Frances Drake sailed into the Bay of Cadiz and attacked the Spanish Armada that was preparing to attack England. The coins in our Cadiz Bay collection that date prior to Drake's attack may be from some of those galleons! Storms and other battles sank later galleons.
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