Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.
One of the best things about doing this blog is all of the great information I receive from readers. Last night I got a very interesting email from Captain Jonah. He told me what one of the most experienced treasure hunters, who, by the way, has been in the treasure hunting and treasure salvage business about as long as anybody, said. The fellow said that there has never been a 1715 Fleet silver ring found. Although I'm not giving you the name of the person, I'll assure you that he is one of the most knowledgeable sources you could ever find. I would tell you his name if I received the email directly from him, but since I got it second hand and without express permission to give his name, I'll leave him nameless for now.
We know that all kinds of things found on 1715 Fleet sites are made of silver, but now we learn that there has never been a silver ring found from a 1715 Fleet wreck. Very interesting!
I'm very cautious with what I say - maybe too cautious. I seldom say words like "never." I'm always thinking that there might be some exception somewhere.
Even if there is some exception somewhere, I now feel very confident in concluding that silver rings from the 1715 Fleet are extremely rare, if they exist at all.
I'm glad to have that new information. I will now assume that any silver rings are not be from a 1715 Fleet source unless I have good evidence to prove otherwise.
In order to test my new knowledge, I first went to the Mel Fisher artifact database and searched for silver rings. I found no silver rings in the database. That supports the idea that there are none, or if there are any at all, they are very rare.
The next source that I checked was Deagan's book, Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean, `1500 - 1800. The book includes artifacts found on both land sites and under water. Thousands of finger rings are documented. Many are non-metallic. Many were made of jet, presumably because of the presumed supernatural qualities or the symbolic or cultural significance. Other non-metallic rings were made of glass, stone, wood and even horse hair.
Of the rings made of metal, the vast majority are made of copper alloys, and a smaller number are made of gold.
There are a very few examples of silver Spanish colonial rings mentioned in that book. Only one was specifically described and pictured. It was from Santa Catalina and shows a flame-crowned heart that is very similar in to the heart-shaped cobs that I've discussed in the past.
I find it fascinating that no silver rings have been found on the 1715 Fleet wrecks and wonder why. Silver rings were common from much earlier times as well as the 18th century and common around the world, so why not on the 1715 Fleet? That is an interesting question and the answer might prove significant.
I can think of a number of possibilities, but none are any more than possibilities. Can you think of any reason why there might not be any 1715 Fleet silver rings? Or why they haven't been found? Maybe it is a matter of numbers.
I've only entertained this idea for less than one day, so maybe this is all premature. I'm glad to put it out there to be investigated and tested. We'll see where it goes.
I also wonder how many non-metallic rings have been found from 1715 wrecks. I'll investigate that. Deagan's book documents hundreds and hundreds. Obviously a metal detector would not detect non-metallic rings, and they might be destroyed in the surf. Explaining the apparent absence of silver rings seems more difficult. That will make for a good research project.
If we assume that there were none and none will be found on the 1715 wrecks and too quickly dismiss each possible exception, we have created a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I want to thank Jonah and the person who told him there are no silver rings that have been found on the 1715 wrecks for sharing. I appreciate that knowledge and am eager to see what more we can learn about that.
What I believe today might not be what I believe tomorrow. I'll be glad to learn something new. Let me know what you think, especially if I got any of this wrong.
In looking through Deagan's book once again, I also noticed some other interesting facts. I'll discuss some of those in the future.