Sunday, April 13, 2014

4/13/14 Report - Treasure Coast Half Reale Date, Iron Cannons and Poll Results

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Mexican Half Reale Found In Nov. 2013

They say that time heals, but you could say it also reveals.  That is one reason I like holding onto things.  It often takes a good bit of time to learn about some things.

Just yesterday I was browsing through the Sedwick Coins auction listings.  I was looking at Mexican half reales.   I have a special interest in those since they have been frequently found on the shipwreck treasure beaches of the Treasure Coast.  But while looking through the auction listings I noticed a half reale with an O to the right of the monogram.  Hmmmm.  Where had I seen that before?

A little later when I was looking through some half reales, there it was -  the big round circle to the right of the monogram (See photo above.).

I then went to Sewall Menzel's book, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins, and looked through the Mexican half reales of the appropriate time period.  And there it was on page 108.   Menzel shows a cob that matches the one in the photo extremely well.

The book says that in 1705 there was a transitional half reale design that showed the common mint and assayer mark of "OMJ" to the left of the monogram and an"O" to the right of the monogram.  The O was the mark of an assistant assayer.

The match between the one in the Menzel book and the one in the above photo was one of the best matches I've seen.  There is the same lop-sided V, and on and on, detail by detail, making for a very excellent match.

Since the transitional design started in 1705 and ended by 1719, or maybe earlier, I now have a better date range for this cob.  If it came from a 1715 Fleet wreck, as I'm confident that it did, the date range would be 1705 - 1715. 

My point is that it was a combination of  browsing through numerous examples, in this case including the auction listings, and taking yet another look at the real thing that made it all come together.  Not only do I now have the date for the cob narrowed down to between 1705 and 1715, but this cob might be from the same die as the one in the Menzel book, or at the very least, a very similar die.

I'm reminded of that old song, Just One Look, which says that's all it took, but one look is seldom enough for me.  I really like how old things seem to reveal their secrets over time as you add one fact or detail after another.

Bill F. ran across some iron Spanish cannons in a marine consignment store.  The asking price was about $2000 each.  They were reportedly found in the Bahamas in the 1930s and were in a yard in the Sewall's Point area for some time.  Bill says they were in good condition.

The most recent blog poll has concluded and the results are in.  The sample size was good, especially considering the time of year and everything.

One thing is for sure - this blog has a heavy Treasure Coast focus even though a good number of its readers are from other parts of the country and other parts of the world.  The two most favorite categories were Treasure Coast specific.

According to the poll results the top "most favorite" thing in the blog is Treasure Coast finds.  I guess that shouldn't be too surprising.  Over one third (36%) of the poll respondents selected that category.

The second most favorite topic is Treasure Coast beach conditions (24%).   That is what I started this blog to be.  That part has become a smaller part of the blog simply because Treasure Coast beach detecting conditions don't change real often and I got tired of giving the same old ratings everyday.  I still make every effort to stay on top of things and warn you of any changes in beach conditions that result in a beach conditions upgrade.  I actually spend a lot of time monitoring beach conditions, even if I can't issue an upgrade or downgrade very often.  I really stay on top of things and give daily conditions ratings when I can issue anything other than a 1 (poor) beach conditions rating.  As you know most of 2014 has been poor this year and there have been very few upgrades.

I'll talk about the poll results some more some other day.

On the Treasure Coast we still have poor beach detecting conditions.  The wind picked up a little today, but we still have something like a three or four foot surf and the wind is coming from the East.

It doesn't look like it will get much better in the next few days.

Happy hunting,