La Capitana Shipwreck - 4 Reales - Dated 1652

Denomination: 4 Reales                                                      

Assayer: "E" Antonio de Erqueta

Weight: 9.21 g​m                                                                   

Mint: Potosi, Peru

Reign: Philip IV                                                                     

Date: 1652

Mount: 14K gold

Description: Potosi, Bolivia, Transitional 4 Reales Cob. McLean Type I (Mastalir 1-A), rare. Obverse: Thin from corrosion and mostly dark brown all over, but with sharp full pillars showing F-4-(IIII) across top and E-4-(E) across bottom, clear date in legend. Reverse: The nearly full shield (also sharp) with clear O-E-5 (no 2) to right above king's ordinal IIII.

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.