From the total volume of coins excavated from the „nau‟ Almiranta São José, estimated at 23.211, a group of 7525 have been studied, divided into 4390 (58,34%) of 8 reales, 3120 (41,46%) of 4 reales and 15 (0,2%) of 2 reales. All are Hispanic coins, hammer-struck during the kingdom of Felipe II (1556-1598) and Felipe III (1598-1621) & follow the kiến thiết established by the so-called Pragmáticas de la Nueva Estampa (New Engraving Orders),as determined by Felipe II in 1566 and put into practice in the Spanish colonies from 1572.

Bạn đang xem: Sao jose shipwreck piece of 8 coin pendant sterling silver treasure – jewelryauthority

According lớn the kiến thiết of the New Engraving, the obverse side of the coin includes the shield of the House of Habsburg, which contains the arms of the territories under the Spanish crown. The arms of Castile, Leon, Aragon & Naples-Sicily appear in the đứng top half, whilst the arms of Austria, modern Burgundy, old Burgundy & Brabant appear on the bottom half & the arms of Flanders và Tyrol in a small shield in the centre. A small pomegranate centred in the upper and lower half symbolises the Kingdom of Granada, the last Moorish possession in Spain re-conquered by the Catholic Kings in 1492. The reverse side of the coin displays the quartered cross with the alternating arms of Castile and Leon, encircled by a double border with 8 lobes.

According to lớn the same royal statute, the external inscription, which starts on the obverse và finishes on the reverse, generally reads PHILIPVS II (or III, depending on the case) DEI GRATIA HISPANIARVM REX, and D.G. HISPANIARUM ET INDIARUM REX.


The Mexican mint, founded by Charles I in 1535, was the first lớn be established by the colonizers of the new world. Amongst those coins from Mexico only 7 correspond lớn the assayer with the initial O (Bernardo de Oñate, 1564-1580?). He had been working in the Mexican mint since the times of Charles I và his mother Iohana & still had the same position when coins of the new Habsburg shield design started to be struck in the mint in 1572. Some references indicate that in the mid-1580s he was replaced by Luis de Oñate (158?-1590?) who may have been his son. The coins continued khổng lồ be produced with the same initial O, hence there are no other elements that enable one khổng lồ recognize the differences between coins of both assayers.

The remaining coins consist of 730 coins from the assayer F (Francisco de Morales, 1607-1608 & 1610-1617), 23 from the assayer A (Antonio de Morales, son of the former, 1608-1610) & 972 from the assayer D (Diego de Godoy, 1618-1634), as well as 1415 undetermined, in which one can not see the assayer‟s mark.

Dates only started khổng lồ be struck on coins in Mexico from 1607 onwards, with the production of Francisco de Morales. The date 1600, which appears on some coins of the assayer A (numbers 2095.091 & 2095.225) therefore cannot be trusted, for it is

known that this official worked in the mint during a period of his father‟s absence, between 1608 và 1610. It is possible that there was a mistake in the manufacture of dies, perhaps unnoticed by the assayer, which resulted in the date 1600.

On a different coin of this assayer the letter A appears above the F of the father (No. 2102.242, A/F), confirming his temporary labour, during which he seems to lớn have occasionally used a die with the initial of his father upon which he overstruck his own initial.

It is worth noting that Francisco de Morales and his successor, Diego de Godoy, produced large quantities of coins, demonstrated by the high volume of their coins in the cargo of Almiranta São José. It also seems that at some point the latter substituted the former during some time and used F dies marking them with his initial D. When the former returned khổng lồ his post, he also used the die of the latter, which had the initial D, with a letter F overstruck by the returning assayer. This procedure was common in Spanish mints, especially in Mexico & Potosi, and in this case it resulted in the assayer mark D/F. (numbers 2080.028) and F/D (numbers 2070.042). Amongst the studied coins there are various with these characteristics.

The second largest volume of analysed coins with a total of 2537 includes 1503 undetermined with no visible mintmark và thus difficult to identify. The remaining 1034 coins are distributed between the coins of Seville (774), Toledo (239), Granada (9), Segovia (7) và Madrid (5).

It is understandable that coins struck in Spain were produced with higher chất lượng than the ones from Spanish-American mints even if hammer-struck, due khổng lồ the care and experience of the manufacturers who produced them.

At the time, the largest mint in the Iberian Peninsula was in Seville, which justifies the larger amount of pieces with origin in Seville found amongst the cargo of the São José. The second largest amount in the studied collection comes from Toledo especially when compared to the meagre samples from the other three Spanish mints.

One particular coin of the assayer H (number 2096.142) calls for special attention because it displays the date 1590, allowing it to lớn be identified as a production of Hernando de Rojas, despite the fact that other succeeding assayers were also called Hernando and used the same initial.

A document from 1572 illustrates that Eugenio de Manzanas was assayer of the mint of Toledo, & that he had worked some time before with his relative Baltasar de Manzanas who used the same initial; however, he had not minted coins with the New Engraving, but rather of the earlier type, with the name of Fernando và Isabel.

A reference found in this study‟s bibliography mentions that Melchor Rodríguez del Castillo was assayer of the mint of Toledo between 1593 and 1595, và that afterwards he transferred khổng lồ Segovia, where he held the same position between 1599 & 1611. However, among the studied coins dated between 1609 and 1611 (Numbers 2080.051, 2095.397, 2095.500), there are some pieces from Toledo with the initial C, which cannot be attributed khổng lồ any other assayer of that mint, leading one to lớn assume that during those years the assayer returned khổng lồ Toledo, or that he worked temporarily in both mints.

An interesting aspect that is common khổng lồ the seven coins from the Segovia mint is a small shield with the arms of Portugal, centred on the two upper quadrants within the Habsburg shield. Portugal was part of the Spanish tên miền between 1580 & 1640. From this collection of coins two are associated to two assayers who worked together and united their initials in the size of the mark IM (Ioan de Ortega, working alone, 1590-1598). In one case, there is the particularity that an O appears over the I (Number 2089.049). Although this is not mentioned in any sources listed the bibliography, the O may have been added by the assayer Ortega to establish a clearer difference with the joint mark of his predecessors Morales. Lastly, two other coins correspond to lớn the assayer A (Andrés de Pedrera, 1617-1621).

Of the remaining Spanish coins, five belong lớn the mint of Madrid, one of which one is from the assayer G (Gonzalo Rodríguez Bermúdez, 1615-1620) và four of the assayer V (Juan Velázquez, 1621-1628). Another nine are from the mint of Granada, eight of which from the production of the assayer M (Francisco Mínguez, 1597-1621). None of these coins displays any particularities.

Among the collection of coins minted in Peru, the third group in relation khổng lồ quantity, a small lot of eleven examples originates from the mint of Lima, the capital of the Viceroyalty. The mint of Lima was founded by Felipe II in 1565 & started to lớn operate three years later, but in 1573 it was close due to irregularities detected in the operations và was therefore transferred lớn the thành phố of Chuquisaca (today named Sucre, in Bolivia), baptised as La Plata by the Spaniards after locating important silver deposits nearby. Shortly afterwards, the mint was relocated to Lima and functioned until 1588, closing again until the second half of the following century. It is because of these inconsistencies that the production during the 16th Century was so limited, explaining the scarcity of these coins in the São José cargo when compared khổng lồ the significant abundance of coins from Potosí.

One of the coins is attributed to the assayer L, who worked only in 1577, but his name is unknown. The remaining nine correspond lớn the assayer D (Diego de la Torre, 1577-1588). This assayer is well known thanks khổng lồ the high unique of his coins, considered the best silver coining of the 16th Century in the whole of Spanish America. The obverse side of the coins catches one‟s attention because of a small six-point star, believed khổng lồ have been included by the assayer in order lớn identify the coins from Lima, because both this mint và that of Potosí used the letter P; in those pieces made in Lima the P refers lớn Peru.

In 1574 Felipe II founded the mint of the “Villa Imperial de Potosí” next lớn the largest deposit of silver in Spanish America known as “Cerro Rico”. During the colonial era, “Cerro Rico” enriched the Spanish crown with the colossal sum of approximately 2000 million “onzas” of silver (pieces of 8 reales), resulting in the development of the Renaissance in Europe và contributing khổng lồ finance the construction of the “Armada Invencible”. The silver also turned Potosí into an immensely prosperous city, rumoured khổng lồ have “paved its streets with silver tiles.” (El Correo de la Unesco, March 2000, pp. 3-4, author‟s translation)

The total of 2003 coins minted in Potosí are distributed into two coins from assayer A(Alonso López de Barriales, 1572-1591, or Juan Alvarez Reinaltes, 1586-1592), 128 from assayer B (Juan Ballesteros Narváez, 1592-1610, & his brother Hernando Ballesteros, 1596?-1605?), 357 from assayer Q (Agustín de la Quadra, 1613-1616), 153 from assayer M (Juan Muñoz, 1616-1617), 169 from assayer T (Juan Ximénez de Tapia, 1618-1623), & 925 undetermined.

The coins from the Potosí mint often displayed certain peculiarities due to the extraordinary productions & the industriousness with which it was often necessary to strike coins. Alonso López de Barriales and Juan Alvarez Reinantes, mentioned above, coincided in some years of their respective work periods, both using the initial A, without establishing their own elements or characteristics to differentiate the coins.

Juan Ballesteros Narváez was the most productive assayer, although on some occasions he was replaced by his brother Hernando. They produced a large quantity of coins which occasionally included small details in the design that allow khổng lồ define the period during which they were struck. In the analysed pieces, however, it has not been possible to detect such characteristics due lớn the increased level of deterioration and erosion resulting from over three hundred & seventy years in a marine environment.

Baltasar Ramos Leceta worked on some occasions as a tenant of Juan Ballesteros, using the letter R with a slanted diagonal line; subsequently, during the kingdom of Felipe III, he modified his initial by making the line curved. The coins from the studied collection come from this second period, when coins from Potosí started khổng lồ be dated. Five of these pieces exceptionally display the monogram RAL, formed by superimposing all three letters, estimated khổng lồ have been made by the assayer in 1618 (Numbers 2074.036, 2099.071, 2105.026, 2121.186, 2122.008). These coins are considered rare.

Ramos Leceta was followed by Agustín de la Quadra (Number 2097.060, the best piece among the collection from Potosí). This assayer sometimes used dies from his predecessors, overstruck with an initial Q, which produced the rare variant Q/R (Number 2104.047), of which only seven have been found. An even more unusual one includes the inverted Q mark (Number 2092.001), a double Q (Number 2096.228), a double P as mintmark (Number 2120.113) and another coin with a P twice its usual size (Number 2120.079). All mentioned variants are rare.

The next assayer was Juan Muñoz and, following tradition, he also used dies of the former official, which were thus marked M/Q (Number 2078.097). This is also a rare & scarce variant observed only on three of the analysed coins.

The last assayer in this group is Juan Ximénez de Tapia. This assayer‟s coins are characterized by a series of errors và deficiencies due to lớn poor workmanship. In some of the studied coins it is noted that the blundered strike results in the quadrant of one shield overlapping the others (e.g. Number 2081.298). There were also other samples of coins struck with a faulty die. Twelve of these coins are particularly noticeable because the upper quadrants of the shield appear transposed, that is khổng lồ say Naples-Sicily and Aragon lớn the left, và Castile và Leon to the right (Number 2080.085).

A document from 1616 narrates the visit of the inspectors, which took place that same year in the mint of Potosí. Several samples of the accumulated dies over several years were analysed, leading khổng lồ the conclusion that in those coins of Baltasar Ramos Leceta & Agustín de la Quadra there were considerable errors in the weight & fineness or contents of the silver, thus seemingly fraudulent. The assayers were no longer alive lớn react khổng lồ the claim. Among the coins from the São José, those that are 8 reales predominantly weigh between 20 và 27 grams, despite the deterioration and the natural erosion caused by the sea. However, some of these coins fall into a range of weight between 11 & 16 grams; one can thus assume that they probably weighed less since the day they were struck. This disproportion is not only found in the mentioned assayers, but also in other officials of the mint. (Numbers 2156.000, R, 12 g; 2114.067,Q, 13 g; 2114.026, B, 14 g; 2104.378, M, 11 g; 2110.127, T, 14 g)


-Reproduction of the articles in whole or part is strictly prohibited without written permission of the author/s.


Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC

P.O. BOX 1964 | Winter Park, Florida 32790

We welcome your order, want lists, comments, material for sale or consignment và suggestions.

Every Treasure is Authentic and Comes Complete with a Full-Color, Multi-Page Certificate of Authenticity và Documenation Package



OUR DOCUMENTATION PACKAGES ARE UNPARALLELEDEvery treasure comes with a professionally researched & written Certificate of Authenticity và Documentation Package

March 1622: Sao Jose, a Portuguese Trade Vessel, Loaded with Spanish Silver Reales Lay at Anchor at Lisbon
In 1622 Spain was ruled by King Philip III of Spain… và Portugal was ruled by King Philip II of Portugal, who were, yes, the same guy. So, obviously, Spain & Portugal were allies united under a common king.
It was under the jurisdiction of this common king that the Sao Jose và its small fleet lay at anchor in March of 1622, preparing for their voyage lớn Goa, India, where they would deliver a vast sum of silver Spanish reales (in fact, nine chests filled to capacity with thousands of “Pieces of Eight”) lớn Portugal’s largest trade center on India’s western coast, as well as a VIP you may have heard of (or at least his surname will sound familiar)…
The VIP? The newly appointed Viceroy of India: Francisco domain authority Gama – the great-grandson of legendary explorer Vasco domain authority Gama, who was the first European to lớn arrive in India via a sea route.Preparations for the voyage were proceeding according lớn plan when fate stepped in – & the foundation for Sao Jose’s eventual demise was laid with just one report from abroad.

Xem thêm: Hỏi đáp: ngành tài chính học gì ? những điều cần biết khi học và làm việc

Image 1: A Portuguese Carrack - the forerunner of the famed Spanish Galleon of the Spanish Treasure FleetsImage 2: An authentic Spanish Reale recovered from the shipwreck Sao Jose
Image 3: Legendary Explorer Vasco domain authority Gama

Now, before we continue our story… please indulge a historian’s musing, but whenever a story about shipwreck Pieces of Eight of the, let’s say 1500s – 1800s begins, you know the story will almost always include at least three to lớn five of the following: the Spanish, Dutch, British, Portuguese, French, and, of course: Hubris, Hurricanes, Islands, Reefs, Pirates and, not lớn be forgotten… Really, Really Bad Navigation.

Back lớn our story… Sao Jose Sets Sail

The small fleet is laying at anchor when a report of a most alarming nature reaches them: the British are rumored khổng lồ be planning an attack on the island of Hormuz – a tiny but incredibly valuable piece of strategic real estate (both then & now) located right where every European country looking to lớn dominate the Indies trade route would want it lớn be – smack dab in the narrow straight between what is now called the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Known as the “Gateway to the Spice Trade” this narrow straight is the only sea route through the Persian Gulf khổng lồ India.

Sao Jose"s Voyage Begins... And Ends

The voyage around the Cape of Good Hope went to lớn plan, và the fleet was soon headed up the familiar route hugging the East African coast to enter the Straight of Madagascar. Little did they know that they were literally sailing into the jaws of a powerful combined Dutch và British East India Company fleet just waiting to lớn attack the smaller Portuguese flotilla.

Image 4: An authentic Piece of Eight recovered from the 1622 shipwreck Sao JoseImage 5: The island of Hormuz - the Gateway to lớn the Spice Trade
Image 6: Southern Africa & the Mozambique Channel in 1730 - printed in Amsterdam

It was a dusk on July 22, 1622 as the fleet sailed up the Mozambique Channel, that the alarm was sounded, & soon the worst fears of the fleet were confirmed: they had sailed right into the ambush & were under attack. As was her appointed duty as Almiranta, Sao Jose was bringing up the rear of the fleet, and was trailing the others – the perfect position lớn be picked off và surrounded by the Dutch & British. Surrounded, horrifically out-gunned, & reportedly taking more shots than any recorded single vessel attacked in the Indian Ocean ever had, Sao Jose was desperately fighting just for survival.

As battle continued, the ship’s captain & most officers fell ill or were injured, and the pilot & commanding officer were soon killed. Through it all, Sao Jose remained navigable throughout the night and into the next day. Despite the fact that Portuguese ships were legendary for battling to lớn the end, in the face of the unending barrage, Sao Jose had no choice but khổng lồ flee toward the African coast. But, coasts often spell disaster rather than refuge, và this stretch of the coast was no exception – the mighty Almiranta Sao Jose ran right into a shoal. The resulting collision sheared off her rudder, & she was now helpless; drifting with wind and wave, awaiting whatever fate would bring.
Despite the horrors the crew had survived, they mounted a heroic effort to lớn somehow save their ship. Precious brass cannons were thrown overboard, anchors were dropped, và anything deemed non-essential was tossed into the sea in an attempt khổng lồ lighten the thundering vessel.But it was far too late. Sao Jose reached her final port of gọi on a reef off the Mozambique coast after the pursuing Anglo-Dutch fleet mounted what would be a final attack. Soon ship, crew, passengers và cargo were scatted on the bottom of the Mozambique channel.

Image 7: Spanish và Dutch Fleets - & Unknown Dutch Master Active in Amsterdam in 1651Image 8: A ship drifts perilously near the reef

The Recovery of Sao Jose"s Spanish Shipwreck Coins

Interestingly, the Dutch & British were able to lớn recover a small fraction of Sao Jose’s treasure – a reported 66,000 Spanish reales… but the vast majority of treasure, as well as Sao Jose herself, were lost to history for almost 400 years.Until, along an isolated stretch of East African coast, she was rediscovered by a Portuguese marine archaeology group in May of 2005. The astounding discovery brought 24,000 silver reales from their watery grave khổng lồ light – shinning testaments to once great empires and the storied Spice Trade of the East.

Why was Sao Jose carrying Spanish Reales from both New and Old World mints?

When we talk about Spanish shipwreck treasure, it is almost always about Silver Reales (Pieces of Eight) & Gold Escudos (Doubloons) minted in New World mints of present day Mexico và South America. This is because most of the legendary shipwrecks are of Spanish treasure galleons making their way from New World mints to lớn Cuba, where they staged for the journey back khổng lồ Spain, or from Cuba trang chủ to Spain.
Spanish Treasure Coin Mine Potosi Peru Bolivia