La Capitana Shipwreck - 1 Reales - Assayer "E" (Erqueta) - Dated 1653 - Post Transitional design

  • Denomination: 1 Reales  
  • Reign: Philip IV
  • Mint: Potosi
  • Assayer: "E"Antonio Erqueta (1652-1679)
  • Weight: 3.66 gm
  • Date: 1653
  • Mount: 14K gold

History: This wreck of the Capitana became the largest loss ever experienced by the Spanish South Seas (Pacific) Fleet, of which the Jesus María de la Limpia Concepción was the Capitana or lead vessel in 1654.  Records reported the loss of 3,000,000 pesos of silver, augmented to a total of as much as 10 million pesos when contraband and private consignments were taken into account.

By comparison, the entire annual silver production in Peru at that time was only about 6-7 million pesos. This implies that the Concepcion was carrying almost 1½ years of production by the Spanish!