Thursday, September 5, 2013

9/5/13 Report - TWO!! Great Stories - More On 1715 Gold & New Story

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Today I'll take a closer look at one of the cobs that was recently found at the Nieves site and give a bit of the history of its origin.

Here is a good view of an eight-escudo and a two-escudo that appeared in the news videos covering the recent Nieves finds.  What you see on this side of the big cob is an L, 8, and an M on the top row.  You can see a P, V, and A on the second row, and 7, 1, 1 on the third row.

The obverse (other side) of this cob shows a cross potent with quartered castles and lions with the legend C. II. D. G. HISPANIARVM.   The first characters indicating Charles, or Carolvs II.

The L on the top row is the mint mark.  It indicates that the cob was minted in Lima.

The eight is the denomination - eight escudos.

And the M is the assayer mark. The assayer would be Felix Cristobal Cano Melgarejo, who was the assayer at the Lima mint from 1709 - 1710 and then again from 1711 - 1728.

At Lima there was a directive that 75% of the silver cobs minted would be eight reales, with the remaining 25 percent being the other denominations.

By 1686, during the reign of King Charles II, Lima was authorized to begin making gold 8, 4, 2, and 1 escudos.  Escudos were to be 22 carat gold (near 92 percent fine) and weigh 27.5 grams.

Earthquakes in 1687 and 1690 severely reduced production of the mint to about 1/4.  Resumption of escudo production began in 1696.

In the early eighteenth century Lima was afflicted with plagues that lasted from around 1705 to 1721.  Production of the mint dropped to an all time low of only 102,000 pesos by 1713, but gold production remained at acceptable levels

The second row down on the cob above shows PVS, which stands for PLVS ULTRA, indicating "more beyond," referring to the New World.

And the third, or bottom line, are the last three digits of the year, in this case 1711.

I'll continue with more of this type of thing tomorrow.

But if that wasn't enough, I also wanted to get started on another great story today.  CNN will probably be picking up on this one, but I wanted to give you a head start.

Al C., AKA meghunter, sent me this story about what happened when he was diving with his buddy Brian.  Here is what he said.

I was diving the Cooper River a couple weeks ago looking for fossils and my buddy found a class ring. No detector - just eye balled it. Anyway there is a great story behind it now. 

Below is more of the story taken from a Post and Courier article (linked below).

While looking for prehistoric shark teeth, Dr. Brian Tovin saw the glint of something shiny in gravel at the bottom of the Cooper River.
At first, Tovin thought he was seeing a fishing lure. What he picked up, though, was a big surprise.  Tovin, of Atlanta, found a class ring that he would soon learn was lost 38 years ago. He spotted it on Aug. 23 in water so inky that a diving light provided only about 3 feet of visibility.
Ring Found by Brian.
Photo from Post and Courier Linked Below
“You feel like you are in another world,” he said.
He saw that the ring was engraved with the initials RLP, which it turned out was short for Robert L. Phillips of Moncks Corner. The 1974 College of Charleston graduate lost the ring during a boat trip with his wife Nancy.
“It’s especially unbelievable at this time in his life,” she said.
Phillips has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Here is the link for more of the story.

The best is yet to come.  CNN hopes to drive Brian to the home of Robert Phillips so they can cover the return of the ring.  We'll be watching for that!

I wanted to give you a head start on this developing story.

Thanks Al for sending me the story and the link!!

News, like treasure, seems to come in spurts.  We now have topical storm that has been named Gabrielle  (shown in red below).

National Hurricane Center Map.

I don't expect the low pressure zone down by the Yucatan to affect the Treasure Coast much, but I'll be watching Gabrielle.

Happy hunting,