Friday, April 4, 2014

4/4/14 Report - $70,000 Gold Bar From 1622 Fleet, 2842 Reals Found on Beach in 17th Century & St. Jose de Anchieta

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Yesterday I showed an 8 escudo that is expected to bring in up to $50,000 in the upcoming Sedwick Coins auction that begins on May 1.

Here is an item that is expected to bring in somewhere between $35,000 and $70,000.  It is from the 1622 Fleet.

Below is the description from the auction catalog.

Colombian cut gold bar, 760 grams, with markings of fineness XXII: (21-1/2K) and assayer/foundry Pena-Randa ("EN RADA"), from the "Dry Tortugas wreck" (ca. 1622), now believed to be the Buen Jesus y Nuestra Senora del Rosario of the Spanish 1622 Fleet, plated in Craig & Richards. 4-1/2" long, 1-1/4" wide and about 1/2" thick. Massive cut piece (probably about half of a whole ingot) with very bold markings (the fineness twice and the owner once, plus three partial circular tax seals), most filled with dark encrustation or at least toning, a couple crude places (as cast) but overall well made and impressively heavy, the cut end chiseled down to about half and broken from there (now filled with dark stuff), one of very few bars from this wreck publicly available and now with additional appeal due to recent research that has pinpointed the name of the wreck and attributed it once and for all to the famous 1622 Fleet (Atocha and Santa Margarita). 

And here is the link.

Yesterday I mentioned a history book about old St. Augustine that presents letters and reports from Pedro Menendez to the King of Spain in the 16th and 17th Century.

I wanted to give you an example of what kinds of things you can find in that book.  Here is one example.

They found two thousand eight hundred and forty-two reals on the beach of San Meteo which came from wrecked vessels. That is what it says.  Now that should be music to the ears of any detectorist.

That was more than a hundred years before the 1715 Fleet wrecked. 

This reference can be found on page 63 of the book.  And  the letter was written in the year 1600, so obviously the wreck occurred before that time.

They found all of that without metal detectors!  Do you think they got all of it?   I really doubt it.

Where is San Mateo?  Well present day San Mateo is inland, roughly west of Palm Coast.   If you want to do some research maybe you can figure out where that beach was and what wrecks were there.

Here you can learn more about Fort San Mateo, which was constructed by Menendez on a good harbor with the possibility of providing safe harbor for  treasure fleets and also to serve as the center of the Jesuit mission system.

I just wanted to show some of the kinds of interesting things you can find in the history book.

Here is the link to the book again.

Speaking of 16th century New World history, Pope Francis recently canonized three missionaries from that time period.

Pope Francis signed decrees April 3 recognizing: St. Jose de Anchieta, a Spanish-born Jesuit who traveled to Brazil in 1553 and became known as the Apostle of Brazil; St. Marie de l'Incarnation, a French Ursuline who traveled to Quebec in 1639 and is known as the Mother of the Canadian Church; and St. Francois de Laval, who arrived in Quebec 20 years after St. Marie de l'Incarnation and became the first bishop of Quebec.

Some of the early missionaries worked tirelessly to obtain better treatment for the native peoples.  The religious conversion and treatment of the natives often had intended and unintended political consequences.  The natives (as well as the huge number of slaves in the New World) could easily be aroused to rebellion, a fact that we know from our French and Indian War, as one example.  The treatment they received often made either friends or enemies.

Off topic but I think very worthwhile - I just saw a video showing bison leaving the boundaries of Yellowstone Park.  Beautiful!  The story was carried by USA today and mentioned the bison leaving Yellowstone ahead of impending volcanic activity.  Yellowstone does sit on top of a huge volcano, and that is what fuels the geysers, but the bison were probably just leaving to find some better grazing.  

What that reminded me to tell you is that if you have never been to our National Parks, you should try to go.   Some, like Yellowstone or Grand Titons or Yosemite, are something that you should not miss.   If you are a 62 or older, you can get a senior pass for only ten dollars that will allow you lifetime entrance to over 2000 national parks or properties along with any number of people you have with you in  your car.  That is one of the best deals you will find anywhere.

It seems I've had plenty to talk about lately.  I have to pick and choose every day. 

There are still some nice finds being made along the Treasure Coast even though it has been slow.  Some are modern and some are off-beach finds.  I'll get into more of that later.

On the Treasure Coast the weather is beautiful for walking the beach or boating or just being out doors.  It couldn't be any better, except for detecting the beach.

We just haven't had much erosion this winter.  We are having southeast winds already.  I'm afraid that will be the trend most of the summer.  That means you will have to stay on top of things so you don't miss any good opportunities when they do pop up.  They are likely to be short-lived and easily missed. 

Happy hunting,