La Capitana - 8 Reales - Date: Not Visible - Assayer E (1651-1679)

  • Denomination: 8 Reales  
  • Reign: Philip IV
  • Mint: Potosi
  • Assayer: Erqueta "E" (1651-1679)
  • Date: Not Visible 
  • Coin History:  This is a unusual Potosi Pillar and Wave design - The coin has an 8 over 8 Obverse with a Shield on the reverse (versus the cross seen today); this design was used for an 11 months period during 1652 transition from the Coss/Shield design to the Pillar/Wave design.
  • 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 American during the 17th century, and the flagship of the Viceroyalty 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 other dated from 1649-1654.

    The galleon overburdened with unregistered goods which many say contributed to the sinking, and backed by testimonies of the crew itself, led to the greatest loss in silver coinage of any Spanish galleon of the time. It was said the crew members 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 to shore. 

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

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