Tuesday, June 12, 2012

6/12/12 Report - More on Spanish Colonial Silver Coins & Poll Results

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

I've been discussing the Florida Collection of silver coins as it existed at the time Craig's book, Spanish Colonial Silver Coins of the Florida Collection, was written.  The Florida Collection contained large numbers of coins salvaged from the 1715 Fleet.  As you know, the Treasure Coast is predominated by 1715 Fleet wrecks, even though there are other wrecks, both more recent and older, along the Treasure Coast.

At the time of Craig's analysis, there were  304 coins from the Lima mint in the Florida Collection.  Only 3 were half-reals, 79 were 1-reals, 17 2-reals, 41 were 4-reals, and 164 were 8-reals.  I feel certain that the percentage of coins from the Jupiter wreck in more recent years has increased the proportion of Lima coins held in the Florida Collection.  I would also not be surprised if the relative percentage of each denomination has signficantly changed.  Nonetheless, it appears from this data, that Lima half-reales might be fairly scarce along the Treasure Coast.

Potosi, being a very productive mint, was well represented in the Florida Collection.  Yet there was only 1 Potosi half-real, but 95 1-reals, 60 2-reals, 101 4-reals, and 258 8-reals.

Common assayers on the early date-cluster Potosi coins (largely from the Jupiter wreck) include assayer  VR, CH and F.  And common assayers on the later date-cluster coins (largely from the 1715 Fleet) include assayers JR, PR, PP, and PJ.

To whatever extent you can generalize to the Treasure Coast beaches from the Collection, it looks to me like Potosi cobs/coins are much more likely to show an assayer mark than Mexico minted coins.
I hope you haven't found this discussion too tedious.  I like data analysis, even when, as was the case here, the sample leaves a lot to be desired.  Despite the short-comings of the Collection I think it does provide some ideas worth considering.  I hope this information will provide clues to help some of you identify your finds. 

I most likely made a few errors.  Don't be afraid to point them out so I can make any necessary corrections.

The most recent blog poll has concluded and the results are in.  As expected, of the readers of this blog, more detectorists hunt on dry land (78%).   That is not surprising.  It is easier, doesn't depend so much on conditions, and does not require water-proof equipment.

I was a little surprised at the number of detectorists who indicated that they water hunt because I don't see that many people doing it.  I suppose that is because a lot of my hunting is done during  rough conditions on beaches where the water is protected by leases.

Also, the poll provides no information about how often a person gets in the water, just if they do it.

Also, as expected, more people detect while wading in water rather than diving or snorkeling.

The sample size got up to near 100, the usual sample size for my polls.

Sometime soon I'll show you how to turn some of your less exciting finds into real treasures.

Beach detecting conditions remain unchanged along the Treasure Coast.   Still southeast winds and 1 to 2 foot seas.  That will not change until later this weekend if the predictions are correct.  And even then conditions won't change much.  The seas, however, will increase a little.

Happy hunting,