Robert's Notes: This is one of my favorite pieces! Pleasing shape, nearly perfectly centered, deeply struck cross. Note the crisp edges on this coin. It was uncirculated when it was lost to the sea in 1715 off of present day Vero Beach, Florida.
Ernie "Seascribe" Richards writes in his 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet book: "Usually impressed into narrow, thick, and angularly-cut planchets, the details of these early pieces out the the Colombian mint at Santafe de Bogota (the most prolific) generally "missed the coin" but, nonetheless, they were made from precious metal of 22+ karats fineness. And to see one's golden flash in the sand under the sea is a thrill every time! Like the original "Bogie," rough and tumble moving actor Humphrey Bogart, the "typical shipwreck gold coin" must be considered "ruggedly handsome!"
Interesting Historical Note: All of this information come with your Certificate of Authenticity. When Charles II of Spain died in 1700, he didn't have a male heir to the throne. He was from the powerful Austrian Habsburg line. In his will, he left the Spanish throne to his grandnephew, France's 16 year old Philip of Anjou, who was from the French House of Bourbon. Philip was the grandson of France's King Louis XIV. France had the most powerful land army at the time, and Spain was wealthy from its New World gold and silver mines. The rest of Europe feared that both France and Spain would unite under one ruler and disrupt the balance of power. Thus began the 13-year War of Spanish Succession. While other Spanish colonial mints changed the royal shield on their coins to Philip V's, Columbia kept the shield on most of their coins to Charles II well into the reign of Philip V. Eventually, the war ended when Philip agreed to renounce his (or his heir's) claim to the French throne.
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