Wednesday, July 5, 2017

7/5/17 Report - Forty Years Ago: 1715 Fleet Treasure. Serious Storm Developing in Atlantic.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Forty years ago (Feb. 1977) Bowers and Ruddy Galleries auctioned 720 lots of 1715 Fleet treasure, mostly cobs, many gold and silver, but also some bars and artifacts from the 1715 Fleet. I decided to take a look back today.

It was in the 1950s that a hurricane ripped the Treasure Coast beaches and Kip Wagner was at the right place at the right time and started finding silver reales from the 1715 Fleet on the Treasure Coast beaches.  You know the story.  Kip and seven others formed the Real Eight Company.  Recoveries were sporadic and slow at times.  On one occasion in the 1960s, their blower exposed gold dubloons, and in 1974 another amazing day resulted in more than a thousand dubloons being recovered.

13 Pound Encrusted Clump of Pieces of Eight.
Source: 1977 Bowers Ruddy Auction Catalog.

Back in 1977 the clump of coins sold for $2000.

9.5 Ounce Gold Splash
Source: 1977 Bowers Ruddy Auction Catalog

The above gold splash sold for $2200.

37.25 Inch Gold Chain.
Source: 1977 Bowers Ruddy Auction Catalog

The gold chain sold for $2200 as well.

The auction house offered the following price guide for escudos in the auction catalog. 

Eights - $800 to $1300
Fours - $600 to $1000
Twos - $200 to $500

From a quick look at the page of realized prices, it looks like the realized prices were not far off the suggested prices.

To give some perspective, the price of gold in 1977 ran around $161.

According to one inflation calculator, it would take about $403 today to buy what $100 would buy in 1977.  That would mean the dollar was worth about four times more back then.

I was lucky to pick up the Bowers Ruddy auction catalog with realized prices in a local thrift store for $1 a number of years ago.


This disturbance has a 70% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

It is still far out there, so it is difficult to tell where it might go.  Earlier predictions I saw had it going east of us.

According to the surf predictions, we'll just get a small bump in the surf around next Wednesday.


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Happy hunting,