1733 Fleet Florida Keys Shipwreck - 8 Reales - Mexico Mint - "Klippe" or square cut coin - Mounted in sterling silver (hand engraved) swordfish with a Sapphire eye


Denomination: 8 Reales                                                                        

Reign: Philip V

Mint: Mexico                                                                                        

Date: Fully dated 1733

Assayer: "F" Felipe Rivas de Angulo, 1731-1733

                (Assayer for the "Klippe" or square cut coins) 

Mount:  Hand engraved sword fish in Sterling Silver with a Sapphire eye

Description:  Obverse: Kings coat of arms. Reverse: The gouge on the cross side is rumored to be a musket ball hit.

History:  On the Thirteenth of July 1733, the New Spain Fleet left Havana, Cuba, on its return voyage to Spain. Sensing a change in the winds as the flotilla approached the Florida Keys, Lieutenant-General Rodrigo de Torres instructed the envoy to turn back towards Havana, seeking refuge from an oncoming storm by sailing as close to the winds as possible.

The New Spain Fleet (Nueva Espana) was comprised of sixteen merchant naos (Portuguese small ships), three armed navios, and two smaller ships carrying supplies to El Presidio de St. Augustine. By nightfall on the Fifteenth of July, most of the ships were caught in the dangerous winds and driven Westward. They were sunk and scattered along 80 miles of reef lining the Florida Keys. Only four ships made the voyage safely back to the Port of Havana.