Nuestra Señora de Atocha - 2 Reales - Grade 1 - Assayer "D"( 1577-1588) - Lima Star - Extremely rare coin from the Atocha

Denomination: 2 Reales

Reign: Philip II

Mint: Lima

Assayer: "D" - Diego de la Torre (1577-1588)

Weight: 6.20 g

Date: Never Dated   

Grade: 1

Description:  This cob is known as a "Lima Star," and requires a very close look at the Mint Mark on the shield side of the coin. To the left of the shield appears a very small star, directly above the "D" Assayer’s mark. The Star commemorates the date the mint was founded, January 6, 1565, also known as the Christian Day of the Epiphany. The Star is known as “The Star of Magi”. Obverse: Bold shield with visible Mint and Assayer marks visible. Full Flan above the shield visible. Reverse: Bold center cross strike. Most of the legend is visible around the coin. Castles and Lions visible. 

Historical note:  "Star of Lima". This coin was minted 34 to 45 years before the Atocha sank! These coins were authorized by the King to be used as currency in Peru, only. They were not minted to be turned into cargo on board a Spanish treasure vessel. Diego's coins are, to this day, known in the coin world as some of the most pristinely struck cob coins under the Spanish crown. Diego is widely known as an Assayer who took great pride in the craftsmanship of both his dies and his coins. These pieces are also loosely known as "Lima D's" - their reputation as the best quality of all Spanish cobs precedes them. 

History: On September 6, 1622, the heavily laden treasure galleon of King Philip IV's Terra Firme Fleet struck a reef and sank in a raging storm near the Florida Keys. More than two hundred and sixty persons perished, and tons of gold, silver, and other precious cargo were lost to the sea. All attempts to locate the shipwreck failed until the location of the primary cultural deposit were made by Treasure Salvors, Inc. on July 20th, 1985.

Most of the coins recovered from the Atocha were minted in the New World and usually have irregular shapes. They were manufactured by cutting coin blanks from crudely cast bars of refined silver bullion; then clipped to the requisite weight, heated, and hand-hammered between crudely engraved dies. 

Coins of Philip II (1556-1598) and Philip III (1598-1621) bear a simplified Hapsburg Shield on the Obverse. The legend, if complete, reads "PHILLIPVS II (III) DEI GRATIA." Philip II (III) By the Grace of God." The reverse has a cross with castles and lions in the quarters. The legend reads "HISPANIARVM: ET : INDIARVMREX," "King of Spain and the Indies."