La Capitana Shipwreck - 8 Reales - "rare double crown marks on cross side" - Mounted in 14K gold

Denomination: 8 Reales                                                      

Reign: Philip IV

Mint: Potosi                                                                       

Assayer: not visible

Weight:  17.2g                                                                    

Date: not visible

Mount: 14K Gold

Description: Obverse, Greek cross with Lions and Castles in four quadrants.  The coin has double crown marks (crown over “L”) and (unknown crown mark). Reverse, Hapsburg shield.

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.