Sunday, June 5, 2016

6/5/16 Report - Storm Headed For Florida. Escudos: Then and Now. Find Face App.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Tropical Depression Three
Tropical Depression Three is expected to become a storm that passes over North Florida next week.  Don't expect any big surf on the Treasure Coast though.


We all know about the fantastic 2015 treasure finds made by the savage crews along the Treasure Coast last year.  While those finds are unprecedented, there were definitely big days in the 1900s too.  

First, in the early 1960s the the famed "carpet of gold" was found.  Over 1000 gold cobs were uncovered.

And in 1974, after an otherwise unproductive day of diving, over a thousand escudos were found.


The chart above shows the realized prices of 18 Mexico-minted 1714 8-escudos that were sold in a 1977 Bowers and Ruddy auction.  The label on the horizontal axis incorrectly says 17 instead of 18.

That is a fairly good sample size for one auction, especially of one specific date.

I'll be analyzing various samples of treasure coins from time to time.

As you can see from the chart, the highest priced 1714 Mexican 8-escudo in the 1977 auction sold for $1500.  The lowest priced of the same mint and year was $550.  There were two that sold at $1350 and two that sold at $550.

That seems like a low prices for 1714 eight-escudos.  One thing that has to be taken into consideration is inflation.  It would take just over $40 in 2016 to buy what $10 would buy in 1977.  So if you wanted to compare 1977 prices with 2016 prices, you might multiply the 1977 prices by four.  That would make make the high price for those sold in 1977 equivalent to $6000 in 2016 dollars, and the low price would then be about $2200 in 2016 dollars.

Why such a range?  One of the neat things about cobs is that they are all different.  Some varieties are more common and others more rare, some are better struck and are in better condition, etc.  The highest priced 1714 Mexico 8-escudo in the 1977 auction, while being nice overall, had one outstanding feature that undoubtedly added significantly to the price.  It was the only one of the 18 that had a partial date showing on the reverse (cross side).

Things were different 40 years ago.  Many more cobs have been found in the last forty years, and I suspect that people looked at collecting cobs a bit differently in the early days.

There was only one Mexico-minted 1714 8-escudo in the most recent Sedwick Coins auction, and the winning bid on that escudo was $10,000.  Without adjusting for inflation, that is a price that is over six times greater than the highest priced Mexico 8-escudo sold in the 1977 auction.  With an adjustment for inflation the 2016 price is still nearly twice the price of the highest priced Mexico 8-escudo  in the 1977 auction, and more than four times the price of the lowest priced Mexico 8-escudo in the 1977 auction.

To be more precise I'd have to take into account a variety of factors, but I'll just look at the comparisons in very general terms for now.   Without getting more specific, I will say that the Mexico 1714 8-escudo in the 2016 Sedwick auction was the second lot in the auction and a fine example.  It undoubtedly compares fairly well to one of the higher priced Bowers and Ruddy Mexico 8-escudos.

I'll do a more complete analysis in the future.


I thought this Market Watch article was interesting.  Here is an excerpt.

A new app called FindFace, recently released in Russia, gives us a glimpse into what this future might look like. Made by two 20-something entrepreneurs, FindFace allows anybody to snap a photo of a passerby and discover their real name — already with 70% reliability. The app allows people to upload photos and compare faces to user profiles from the popular social network Vkontakte, returning a result in a matter of seconds. According to an  interview in the Guardian, the founders claim to already have 500,000 users and have processed over 3 million searches in the two months since they’ve launched.

What’s particularly unsettling are the use cases they advocate: identifying strangers to send them dating requests, helping government security agencies to determine the identities of dissenters, and allowing retailers to bombard you with advertisements based on what you look at in stores.

Here is the link.