La Capitana - 4 Reales - Dated 1650 - Assayer O - Crowned "F" - Double Crown Marks

  • Denomination: 4 Reale
  • Reign: King Philip IV
  • Mint: Potosi, Bolivia
  • Assayer: "O" - Roas The Wheel   
  • Weight: 11.25 grams
  • Date: Not very visible
  • Coin History: Thin, dark, and corroded coin. Shows significant data, including 4-O (Denomination and Assayer) to left of shield with full countermark in center. Double Crown Marks visible on both Cross and Shield sides.  
  • Crown-mark: Crown over *F* on shield side.  Unknown on cross side.

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.

CAP-2190

x

x