World Coins

What's the history of the 1715 Treasure Fleet?: Coin World Buzz

Fifty-one coins and 40 feet of gold chain from the site of the 1715 Treasure Fleet wreck off the coast of Florida were discovered in June, and another 350 gold coins from the wreck were discovered July 30.

All images courtesy of Queens Jewels LLC.

1. The history behind the 1715 Treasure Fleet

So another 350 gold coins were pulled from the 1715 Treasure Fleet wreckage on July 30.

What was the 1715 Treasure Fleet? Here's a quick lesson:

The 1715 Treasure Fleet was a group of 12 treasure-carrying Spanish galleons bound from Havana to Spain, where the gold they contained would be used to support the nearly bankrupt Spanish crown, according to Queens Jewels LLC’s website. On July 30, 1715, a hurricane wrecked 11 of the 12 ships off the coast of Florida, as they were heading up the Bahama Channel.

The journey began 15 days prior to the storm, when the 12 ships headed north from the Havana Harbor for their journey back to Spain. Ships in the convoy were from a few different European countries. Captain General Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla led his five vessels of the New Spain flota, or fleet; Captain General Don Antonio de Echeverz y Zubiza commanded his six ships, the Tierra Firme squadron; and Captain Antonio Daire rounded out the group with his French ship, the Grifon

Modern salvage efforts began in the late 1950s, according to Queens Jewels, when building contractor Kip Wagner found a coin on the beach after a hurricane and was curious about how it got there. Wagner then located the original Spanish salvage camp, which led him to the conclusion that the wrecks were likely located near that section of beach.

Well-known treasure hunter Mel Fisher began recovery efforts in 1963 and he or his daughter oversaw recovery operations until 2010, when Queens Jewels obtained rights. 

While much of the treasure was recovered soon after the wrecks, a Queens Jewels representative said he believes that more than $400 million worth of gold remains unrecovered. 

2. Feds are expected to return millions in seized Liberty Dollars 

"Millions of dollars' worth of silver, gold, platinum and copper Liberty Dollar medallions and related property seized by federal authorities in 2007 will be returned to their owners, according to court documents."

Read the court documents and history behind the Liberty Dollars.

3. NGC, NCS, PMG have named an official submission center in Japan

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, Numismatic Conservation Services and Paper Money Guaranty announced Aug. 17 that World Coins Japan Co. Ltd. is designated an official submission center in Japan. 

NGC, NCS and PMG are independent members of the Certified Collectibles Group. 

Here are details regarding the center.

4. Chinese silver dollar design rejected 

Though the coin was attractive, the design was destined to be met with disapproval.

Read why.

5. Precious metals pricing listed the following prices per ounce as of 10:32 a.m. ET Thursday:

6. Hot topics

Check out the three most-read stories of the last seven days:

  1. Federal government to return millions of dollars in Liberty Dollars seized by authorities in 2007
  2. Repeat performance: Collectors angry over Eisenhower sellout
  3. Top collection of Morgan dollars displayed at ANA World's Fair of Money: Something Social

7. Something Social

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