Sunday, October 13, 2013

10/13/13 Report - A Couple Older Half Reales, Beach Conditions & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Cobs in SedwickCoins Most Recent Auction Catalog

Yesterday I showed that people are more likely to see Florida's shipwreck treasures by visiting private museums despite the fact that we have a huge Florida collection that belongs to the state's citizens and is supported by tax dollars.

One resource I use to study Florida's historic treasures are auction catalogs.  Today I'll look at a couple half reales from the current Sedwick Coins catalog.

As I've mentioned, the 14th Annual Sedwick Treasure Auction will be held in Orlando at the end of this month.  The catalog is now available online.

I personally have a particular interest in 1715 Fleet Half Reales, especially those from the Mexican mint.  I didn't see many Mexico half reales from that period in this catalog.  Hardly any.

The above picture shows one Mexico half reale, but it is much earlier than what you usually find on the 1715 wrecks.  Most 1715 cobs will be either Charles II, or Philip V.

Here is the catalog description.

Mexico City, Mexico, cob 1/2 real, Philip II, assayer O to right, mintmark oM to left. S-M11; KM-20 ;CT-717. 1.53 grams. Polished Fine+ with full inner details, minor marks, incipient toning.

Back a few days ago I gave you the proper weights for the various denominations of reales.  If yoiu remember, a half reale should be minted at just a touch over 1.7 grams.  And as I also said, most beach found cobs are somewhat under that weight, probably due largely to corrosion.  The one above is under weight too, although there is not indication where it came from.

Many of the halves that I looked at in this auction, like this one, were not associated with a particular wreck.  That is disappointing.

If you metal detect on the Treasure Coast 1715 Fleet beaches, you might very well find a Mexican half reale similar in some ways to the one shown above, but not exactly the same and not likely as old as the one shown above.

Although this one shows no date, it is a Philip II, which puts the date between 1556 and 1598.  Most cobs that I've seen from the 1715 Fleet are early 1700s or late 1600s.

It has a cross that is similar to what you will commonly see on Mexican reales found on 1715 Fleet beaches.  The cross is usually the first thing that often tell you if you are looking at a cob from Mexico even when you can't see any other details.  Notice the balls on the ends of the cross.

The second obvious sign that tells you that the cob is from Mexico is the OM mint mark.  You can often see the mint mark on beach found cobs, but not as often as the cross style.

The obvious Philip mongram is also similar, but not exactly like what you will find on 1715 Fleet beach half reales - at least none that I've seen.

This particular cob is not dated.  Few beach found half reales will be dated.  This early cob is more round than most of the half reales that are found on 1715 Fleet beaches, and overall, in much better condition, showing almost all of the details.

Assayer O would likely Bernardo de Onate (1572-1589)

I like half reales and like to compare them and the monograms from the different periods.  This Philip monogram is different than any I've seen on 1715 Fleet cobs.  There are a large number of varieties.

Here is another half reale from the most recent Sedwick Coins auction catalog.

This one is not from the Mexico mint.  Notice first the difference in the cross.

Second, notice the different mint mark on the monogram side of the cob.

Here is the catalog description for this one.

Lima, Peru, cob 1/2 real, Philip II, assayer Diego de la Torre, oD to left, * to right. S-L4; KM-5 ;CT-705. 1.63 grams. Broad flan with nearly full legends and crown, bold full monogram and cross, nicely toned XF.

Notice the star to the right of the S in the monogram.  That also tells you it is from Lima.  I think that would put the date as 1659 or 1660 but I'm having some trouble with that because of the assayer which I would expect to be V instead of D.  Maybe someone can clear up my confusion on that.

This is another Philip II and earlier than what you will likely find on 1715 Fleet wrecks.

This is the type that would more likely be found at Jupiter.  They tend to be rather round and many from Potosi or Lima.

The big numbers under those cobs are the lot numbers.

Once again, auction catalogs provide a lot of good examples to study.

President John F. Kennedy's personal rosary beads and crucifix is up for auction and possibly could bring $1 million.

The Minelab Service Center in Orlando did a job for me.  I'll have details on that soon.

As I recently reported, Tesoro's Lifetime warranty is not what I would call a lifetime warranty.  When they no longer have the parts to service an older detector, that is the end of the lifetime warranty.  So be aware of that if you are buying a Tesoro detector  because of an advertised lifetime warranty.

If you didn't check out the poll results that I posted yesterday, you might want to do that.

On the Treasure Coast we seem to be stuck with a 2 - 3 foot surf for a few more days.  The wind will be coming from the north, so it might be worth watching for some limited erosion.

The low tides will be unusually high.  That has been the case lately too.

In the Atlantic there was one low pressure area that had a 50% chance of becoming a cyclone, but that is down to 10% now.

Overall, not much chance of improvement in beach conditions.

Happy hunting,