Wednesday, August 12, 2015

8/12/15 Report - The Jeweled Cross Series of Mexican Escudos and How To Identify. Also, Bell From HMS Hood Recovered.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1695 8 -escudo Royal (Left)

1702 8 - escudo Royal (Right)

Last month I was able to report on some of the amazing treasure being found along the Treasure Coast.  Finds included a magnificent 8-escudo Royal along with a variety of other escudos.

Today I thought I'd take a look at some other very rare 1715 Fleet coins.  I'm talking about some of the first gold cobs minted by Mexico from 1679 to 1699.  They are referred to as the The Jeweled Cross Series.  Escudos in the Jeweled Cross Series are very unique and can be easily identified by one very prominent and unique design feature not found on the escudos shown above.

Unlike the escudos shown above, the excellent example from the jeweled cross series shown beow, clearly features a series of holes or depressions along the surface of the cross.  That is the prominent characteristic of thee cobs of that series.

Note the rectangular depressions all along the cross.

In addition to the "jeweled cross" this series has another identifying feature that clearly distinguishes the jeweled cross series from Colombian escudos and escudos made in Spain.  See if you can tell what it is.

It is the rectangular shape of the tressure (box around the cross), which is completely different from the arcing tressures of the Spanish and Colombian escudos of the same period.

There are distinguishing features on the other side too.

I won't comment on the differences found on this side other than to mention there are differences in the shield.

The jeweled cross design was discontinued around 1695.  There are some jeweled cross escudos after that date, but there is some question about that.  Some are thought to be over-dated and some are thought to be incorrectly dated.

As of 2012, 80 - 90% of all known jeweled cross escudos came from the 1715 Fleet.  There are very few known examples.  Perhaps there will be new examples discovered this year.

As of October 2012,  Division reports from the State of Florida record over 6500 gold cobs reported to the state by 1715 Fleet salvors since 1963. Private salvage reports from Real 8 and other groups supplement the state reports.

All of the above photos and quotes are from a 2012 draft of a report entitled The Jeweled Cross Series of 1679-1699 by Philip Flemming.

There is much more information in that report.  Here is the link if you want more details and historical background.


The bell from the battle cruiser HMS Hood, which was sunk by the Bismarck, was recently retrieved from the ocean floor.

Here is the link for the photo, story and video.


Still no change in beach detecting conditions for the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,