La Capitana Shipwreck - 8 Reales - Dated 1652

Denomination: 8 Reales                                                 

Date: 1652

Mount: 14k gold                                                           

Assayer: Antonio de Erqueta

Mint: Potosi                                                                 

Mount: 14K gold

Description: Post-transitional pillar and wave Spanish cob.  Obverse: Boldly struck Pillars of Gibraltar with waves of Atlantic Ocean below. Last two digits of the year (52) appear above the central-crested wave. Legend is visible with Full “Potosi” visible. Assayer "E" and mint Mark "P" visible in tic-tac design. Latin "PLVSVLTRA" across middle field, translates to "Further Beyond,” Reverse: Boldly struck crowned shield of Spain with castles of Castile and lions of Leon within quadrants. Three digits of the year (x652) visible at six O'clock position, partial legend visible on reverse. Assayer's Mark "E" to the right of Jerusalem cross. 

History: La Capitana sank in October of 1654 off the coast of Chanduy, Ecuador. The 1,200-ton Spanish galleon was the largest built in Colonial America during the 17th Century, and the flagship of the Vice Royalty of Peru, and the South Sea Armada. This ship was commissioned to carry Spanish Coins including the Potosi Mint scandal coins, the subsequent countermark coins and many others dated from 1649 to 1654.  The galleon, overburdened with unregistered goods, which many say contributed to its sinking. In testimony from crew members; it was said that they could not even lower the anchors, because there was so much treasure stacked on the anchor cables. At least 20 people died in their attempt to swim ashore.

All attempts to find the shipwreck failed until the location was made by Sub-America Discoveries, INC in November of 1996.