Denomination: 2 Reales Silver Cob
Mint: Potosi, Bolivia
Type: Pillar and Wave
Weight: 9.29 grams
Assayer: "Y" - Diego de Ybarbouru, 1701-1727
Reign: Philip V
Mounted Pillars-side out in 14k gold bezel with shackle bail. Nearly full pillars, bold date, two bold assayers, light corrosion.
The Princess Louisa, a huge East Indiamen ship, was lost on April 18th, 1743 on Galleons Reef, in the treacherous waters off of the Cape Verde Islands, near the Isle of May (Africa). Her holds carried Spanish Colonial cob coinage, from the mints of Potosi, Bolivia and Lima, Peru. These coins were to be used to purchased silks, spices, and other valuable Eastern items.
Her tragic loss left a treasure lying undiscovered on the ocean floor for more than 250 years. Although a recovery expedition was mounted in 1744 the salvage attempt was unsuccessful. Later attempts to find the wreck site were futile. In 1998-99 an expedition by Arqueonautas, a well-known maritime archaeological recovery company, located and recovered these historical treasure coins. Archaeologists from Oxford University confirmed that this wreck was indeed the Princess Louisa.
Although crudely struck, the Obverse of these cobs features a Pillar-and-Wave design (symbolizing the Pillars of Hercules), the Latin words "Plus Ultra" (further beyond), and the date, denomination, mintmark, and assayer. The Reverse of these cobs features a bold cross (symbolizing the union of Church and State), and the lions and castles that symbolize the merger of the medieval kingdoms Leon and Castile (Spain).