Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.
|Two Old Silver Rings.|
Finds and photos by Bernie C.
Both of the above were found by Bernie on a Treasure Coast wreck beach. They are thought to be silver trade goods from the early 1700s.
The cobs that are found on the Treasure Coast went through a lot before they came to the Treasure Coast. Maybe you did too.
Lets follow the journey of a small Potosi reale.
It started out in Cerro Rico, where it was laboriously mined by poor miners under very difficult conditions. You might want to look into that sometime. It is an interesting topic by itself.
Cerro Rico is known as 'mountain that eats men' because of the large number of workers who died in the mines. Some writers such as Eduardo Galeano in his work Open Veins of Latin America estimate, quoting Josiah Conder, that up to 8 million men have died in the Cerro Rico since the 16th century.
Long tunnels carved out of the mountain lead down to the silver. After being dug out, the ore was carried up repeated lengths of leather rung ladders to the surface where it was hand-sorted and then carried by pack animals to the grinding mills and then amalgamated before going to the smelters and being turned into refined bars that were taxed and marked. Then it was sold to the mint before being turned into cobs. From there it was transported to Panama and across the isthmus to be loaded for shipment to Havana where it was loaded onto another ship to leave with the fleet for Spain.
As we know, then there was the hurricane and wrecking and attempts at salvage.
Then one day, you decide to go metal detecting, and on the beach somewhere after hundreds of years, you meet up with that one little piece of silver.
Then where did it go? Maybe into your pocket. Maybe to auction. Maybe to a friend or collector.
How unlikely the meeting! You were born, raised, worked, searched, and then you met. And the journey isn't over yet for either of you. Where will the journey lead next?
Here is a good web site that lists the major events relating to the price of gold and silver since the 1600s. It gives a good international overview. Very informative.
I heard from people from Rosewood, a TV program on Fox. Evidently they are developing one episode on a treasure hunting story.
The Fisher HAUV Dolores has been pin-pointing small non-ferrous targets, such as most recently, what appears to be a smashed metallic cup found on the Atocha site.
The 2016 salvage season is underway on the Treasure Coast and off to a great start. The first gold coin has already been found.
Way to go guys!