Rooswijk Shipwreck - 8 Reales - Mexico Mint - Dated 1739

Denomination: 8 Reales

Mint: Mexico

Assayer: M.F.  (Joint Assayers)

Date: 1737

Weight: 25.6 gm

Reign: Philip V

Mount: 14K Gold

Grade: Fine Plus

History: Rooswijk Shipwreck- Dutch East Indian Shipwreck lost on the Goodwin Sands in 1739 (pronounced Rose-vik) On January 8th, 1729, the 850-ton ROOSVIK set sail from Trexel, Holland, with the Dutch East India Company's Christmas Fleet. This was to be her second voyage to the Dutch Indies (Indonesia) under Captain Dan Ronzieres. Her cargo was Mexican silver coins and a group of VOC silver bars specially minted in Amsterdam (mint mark A). Silver was the principal commodity used by the Dutch in their China trade. 

One day out of port, a North Sea gale caught the Christmas Fleet by surprise, the ROOSVIK the unlucky ship of the Fleet. She was driven onto the Goodwin Sands, a treacherous set of shoals off the coast of Kent, and demolished by the storm. None of her 250 passengers survived, and the wreck site could not be located by the Dutch. She seemed lost forever, for 266 years.  In the Summer of 2004, a carpenter from Cambridge shire was exploring the Goodwin Sands in calm waters, and stumbled upon an old wooden wreck, crates and timbers still mainly intact. In the crates he discovered Mexican silver coins and VOC ingots, the very cargo the ROOSVIK hauled according to her manifest. 

for the remainder of the summer, he and an archaeological salvage team recovered and identified the treasure of the ROOSVIK. An Admiralty court rules it as the property of the Dutch government, and in December 2005 the treasure was repatriated to the Dutch. A small portion was given to the salvors, who auctioned most of their share in March 2006. Most of the bars awarded to the salvors, unfortunately, show a fair amount of corrosion and salvage damage.