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Category Archives: Shipwreck Coins

Dangerous Deals: Pirates of the Caribbean and authentic shipwreck coins!

Sarasota Company Certifies Shipwreck Coins Before Sale

SARASOTA — Spanish gold coins lost in a shipwreck off Florida 300 years ago have been authenticated with the help of experts in Sarasota.

Miami-based treasure-salvage company 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC found the coins on July 30 and 31, 2015, 300 years after a hurricane sank 11 of 12 Spanish ships that were sailing from Cuba to Spain in 1715.

The coins were found in water 6 feet deep off Florida’s East Coast near Vero Beach, said the salvage company’s co-founder and operations manager, Brent Brisben. The storm had driven the ships onto offshore reefs and the waves carried much of the treasure farther toward shore.

Read more: Herald-Tribune

Judge Sets New Hearing for Treasure Hunter Jailed Over Coins

A federal judge has set a hearing for updates in the case of a former deep-sea treasure hunter jailed in Ohio for refusing to answer more questions about the location of 500 missing gold coins.

Read more: The Associated Press

Gold Treasure Coins go on Market

More than $1 million worth of Spanish treasure coins will be sold by Blanchard and Company and Monaco Rare Coins.

The 295 gold and silver coins were cargo in the Spanish 1715 Plate Fleet that sank in a hurricane July 31, 1715, off the east coast of Florida.

Be sure to continue to read more at the source: Numismatic News

$1 Million of Recently Recovered 1715 Fleet Shipwreck Coins Coming To Market

Sunken Spanish colonial gold treasure coins discovered during 300th anniversary of fleet’s demise to be offered for the first time.

More than 200 sunken treasure gold coins from the legendary Spanish 1715 Plate Fleet, recovered during last year’s 300th anniversary of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane that sank 11 of the fleet’s 12 ships, are now coming into the numismatic marketplace for the first time along with coins found on previous expeditions. 



Close ups of the obverse and reverse of a 1694 – 1713 Charles II type gold 2 escudos struck in Colombia, one of the 1715 Plate Fleet Spanish colonial coins recovered on July 31, 2015, the 300th anniversary of the hurricane that sank all but one ship.

Photo credit: NGC

The discovery of the latest trove by the historic shipwreck recovery company, 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels, LLC (, occurred on July 31, 2015, exactly 300 years to the day of the fleet’s sinking.  The treasure was found in only 6 feet of water just a hundred feet from the beach in Vero Beach, Florida, and this amazing find generated international headlines.

The coins range in denomination from one escudo to eight escudos.  They were struck in Colombia, Mexico and Peru and are dated in the era between 1692 and 1715 during the reigns of Spanish Kings Charles II and Philip V. 

“These historic treasure fleet gold pieces have been examined, authenticated and graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (  All but five are Mint State, and one recovered treasure coin is graded NGC MS 66,” said John Albanese of Bedminster, New Jersey, the dealer who brokered the deal to acquire the never-before offered coins.

Highlights include a 1712 Peru 8 escudos of Philip V, graded NGC MS 64; a 1711 Peru LM  2 escudos of Philip V Peru, NGC MS 66; and a 1699 Colombia 2 escudos of Charles II, NGC MS 64, that was discovered by 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels inside a recovered bronze cannon.

Blanchard and Company ( and Monaco Rare Coins ( are the primary dealerships that will be selling the coins.

 “In addition to the 224 coins discovered in 2015 by 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels there are 71 shipwreck coins from the 1715 Fleet found during their two earlier underwater expeditions in 2010 and 2013 that now will also be available to collectors for the first time.  There even are coins they discovered inside a ship’s cannon!,” explained Albanese.

“The combined estimated market value of the 295 treasure coins is more than $1 million,” said Albanese.

1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels is a group of Florida based shipwreck salvors who have focused their attention since 2010 on the exploration and recovery of the famous Spanish treasure fleets convoy.

“Our goal is to bring the amazing story of the 1715 Plate Fleet to the public.  We hope the recovery of these incredibly rare artifacts will help educate people about Spanish colonization of the New World and life on the high seas in 1715,” stated Brent Brisben, 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels Co-Founder and Operations Manager

“The discovery of gold and silver coins in sunken cannon in 2010 was an amazing recovery.  For decades, treasure hunters have told tales of treasure hidden inside of cannons, but our recovery was the first time the tale was ever validated. We recovered a 3½ foot bronze rail gun, the first bronze rail/swivel cannon ever recovered from the 1715 Fleet.  We discovered 50 gold and 40 silver coins in the breech of the cannon,” explained Brisben.

Brisben’s great-great-great grandfather, Daniel Beaver, died in another famous shipwreck, the fabled “ship of gold,” the S.S. Central America, that sank off the South Carolina coast in a hurricane in September 1857 while carrying tons of California Gold Rush coins and gold bars to New York City.

NGC has created special insert labels for the 1715 Fleet coins, including a special designation for the coins recovered from the cannon.

NGC has created special insert labels for the 1715 Plate Fleet coins recovered on the 300th anniversary, such as this Charles II type (1694 – 1713) gold 2 escudos struck in Colombia, graded NGC MS 65.

Photo credit: NGC

“Coinage of the 1715 Fleet offers up rare riches, providing researchers a unique opportunity to study the trade and transport of the day and gives collectors the chance to acquire a high-grade example of a coin from the golden shipwreck treasure of lore. A quantity of uncirculated Spanish gold coins such as this simply does not exist outside of a shipwreck discovery,” stated NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg.

“NGC worked directly with the recovery group to not only preserve the important provenance of these coins, but also the story of their individual recovery. For the first time, specific dive missions and finds are referenced on the NGC certification label,” said Salzberg.

In addition to the NGC encapsulation, each coin will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Brisben, along with the original, numbered archeological tag that was used by the expedition crew to denote each item as it was discovered and recovered.  The unique tag number is indicated on the certificate of authenticity for each coin.

The fabled 1715 Fleet convoy of 12 ships loaded with New World treasure set sail from Havana, Cuba to Spain on July 24, 1715.  In the early morning hours of July 31 a fierce hurricane sank all the ships except one off the eastern coast of Florida.  More than a thousand people were killed in the storm and resulting shipwrecks. 

On July 31, 2015, the 300th anniversary of that historic day, 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels recovered 350 gold coins, including nine extremely rare Royals.  Some of the coins were given by the company to its crew-members and subcontractors as their share of the recoveries, and all the large Royals presentation pieces were privately sold earlier this year to anonymous collectors for an average of $275,000 a piece.

“We have owned the exclusive salvage rights to the 1715 Fleet since 2010. We have never previously sold a single gold coin from our recoveries,” said Brisben.  “The story of the fleet is an amazing tale which really provides the fascination with these coins.”

First Display of $8 Million Type I Double Eagles Set at ANA 2016 Anaheim World’s Fair of Money

Monaco Rare Coins will exhibit the historic set in the ANA Museum Showcase on behalf of a collector who began assembling the set 14 years ago.

(Anaheim, California) – The first public display of a 46-coin set of Type I Double Eagle U.S. $20 denomination gold coins will be one of the featured highlights of the Museum Showcase at the American Numismatic Association 2016 Anaheim World’s Fair of Money® (, August 9 – 13, 2016. Known as the Horseneck Collection, the set required 14 years to assemble and now is insured for $8 million for its public debut at the ANA convention.

This exhibit is courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins ( of Newport Beach, California and an anonymous East Coast collector who owns the remarkable coins. The owner began collecting coins as a child in the 1950s when he became fascinated by 1830s and 1840s era quarters and half dollars his grandfather had accumulated while working as a bank teller in the 1890s.

“The Horseneck Collection set includes many finest known or tied for finest known Type I Double Eagles that were struck from 1850 to 1866. Many of the coins were made from California Gold Rush ore, and a dozen were recovered from famous shipwrecks: the 1857 sinking of the fabled ‘ship of gold,’ the Central America; the 1865 wreck of the Republic; and the 1865 sinking of the Brother Jonathan,” said Adam Crum, Monaco Vice President.

The set’s 1854-O is graded NGC AU-58, tied for finest known, and was recovered from the Republic in 2003.

Obverse Horseneck 1854-O $20 NGC AU 58

Reverse Horseneck 1854-O $20 NGC AU 58

Recovered from the SS Republic and tied for finest known, this rare 1854-O Double Eagle graded NGC AU 58, is one of the highlights of the $8 million Horseneck Collection of Type I Double Eagles that will be exhibited in public for the first time by the set’s anonymous owner and Monaco Rare Coins at the ANA 2016 Anaheim World’s Fair of Money®.  Photo credit: Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Other highlights of the Type I Double Eagle set include: 1850 graded PCGS MS-63+; 1856-O, NGC AU-58; 1857-S, recovered from the Central America, PCGS MS-66; 1861-S, Paquet Reverse, NGC AU-58; and 1866-S, No Motto, NGC MS-61.

Front Horseneck 1856-O $20 NGC AU 58

Back Horseneck 1856-O $20 NGC AU 58

Graded NGC AU 58, this rare 1856-O $20 is a prized highlight of the Horseneck Collection of Type I Double Eagles that will make its public display debut courtesy of its anonymous owner and Monaco Rare Coins at the ANA 2016 Anaheim World’s Fair of Money®.  Photo credit: Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Front Horseneck 1861-S $20 Paquet NGC AU 58

Back Horseneck 1861-S $20 Paquet NGC AU 58

One of the rare 1861-S Paquet Reverse $20 gold coins, graded NGC AU 58, is included in the first public display of the Horseneck Collection of Type I Double Eagles courtesy of the set’s anonymous owner and Monaco Rare Coins at the ANA 2016 Anaheim World’s Fair of Money®, August 9 – 13, 2016.  Photo credit: Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Front Horseneck 1866-S $20 No Motto NGC MS 61

Back Horseneck 1866-S No Motto $20 NGC MS 61

A No Motto 1866-S $20, graded NGC MS 61, is part of the Horseneck Collection of Type I Double Eagles that will be featured in the Museum Showcase at the ANA 2016 Anaheim World’s Fair of Money® courtesy of the set’s anonymous owner and Monaco Rare Coins.  Photo credit: Stack’s Bowers Galleries

“It is collections like this and the support of organizations like Monaco Rare Coins that make the ANA Museum Showcase a centerpiece and must-see event at each of our shows,” stated Douglas Mudd, ANA Money Museum Curator.

“The large, Type I Double Eagles convey the history and intrigue which is so important for a coin to be desirable,” said Crum who is co-author of “An Insider’;s Guide to Collecting Type I Double Eagles,” and is completing work on a new reference book, “America’s First $20 Gold Coins.”

“If not for the California Gold Rush, we most likely would not have had these wonderful treasures to enjoy today. They were minted in an era that defined our borders, saw us flourish economically and finally saw us fall to the lows of humanity with a four year Civil War that ravaged our nation,” Crum explained.

The owner of the Horseneck Collection said he began collecting Type I Double Eagles in 2002 after purchasing an 1857-S from Monaco that was a recovered from the Central America shipwreck.

“It wasn’t long before I embarked on collecting the entire set of Type I Double Eagles. Their history is fascinating: a denomination born in the California Gold Rush and spanning the Civil War! My set includes a number of pieces from treasure ships, each with its own unique story and impact on the history of the era,” the set’s owner stated.

“I am fascinated by the New Orleans ‘O’ Mint coins with such incredibly low mintage figures. I think my favorite is my 1854-O, which is both one of the scarcest dates in the set and the only specimen of this date recovered from a shipwreck (the Republic),” he explained.

“Over the years I have attempted to build the highest graded set I could. It was pretty easy to get started with treasure ship coins which sat on the bottom of the ocean for 150 years. But I quickly discovered how few mint state coins existed in dates not preserved by shipwrecks. It seems that no one collected Double Eagles back in those days and they apparently were only used in commerce.” That coupled with the big gold melt-down of 1933 has made assembling my set especially challenging. And I’ve loved every minute of it!,” he emphasized.

The Horseneck Collection of Type I Double Eagles will be displayed in the ANA Museum Showcase (booth area #1000) in Hall D of the Anaheim Convention Center, site of the ANA World’s Fair of Money (

“These coins stir my imagination when I hold one in my hand, but when you get to see so many at one time in such a high state of preservation, such as these in the Horseneck Collection, it just brings so much history alive. I guess that is why there are seven different Type I Double Eagles listed in the book, “100 Greatest United States Coins.” That’s more than any other series in all of U.S. numismatics,” said Crum.

For additional information about the exhibit of the Horseneck Collection of Type I Double Eagles, contact Adam Crum at Monaco Rare Coins at (888) 900-9948.