Atocha 1622 Shipwreck - Rare Pillar and Wave design - 2 Reales - Assayer Rincon (1568-1570) - Lima Mint

Denomination:  2 Reales 
Reign: Philip II
Mint: Lima, Peru
Assayer: Alonso de Rincon (1568-1570)
Weight: 5.90 grams
Date: Never Dated
Mount: 14K Gold, Hand engraved filigree mount. Accented with 10 sapphires (2mm/ .05ct) - 4 Diamonds (2.62mm/ .07 ct)
Artifact Number: 85A-236337

    Rarity: This Rare Atocha coin has us seeing stars. Registered cargo in the form of 250,000 silver coins onboard the Atocha originated from the Mint at Potosi, now in modern-day Bolivia. The origin of this coin can be traced to the Lima Mint, which was located on the coastline of Peru, some 912 miles away. Additionally, this design of coinage known as the Pillar and Wave, was minted at Lima between 1568-1570, and was the original designed used when the Mint was first opened. That being said, this coin pre-dates the sinking of Atocha by at least 52 years. The visible hole on the coin demonstrates the long-standing tradition of wearing coins as jewelry, and this practice can be attributed to times immemorial. 

     History: On September 6, 1622, the heavily laden treasure galleon of King Philip IV's Terra Firme Fleet struck a reef and sank in a raging storm near the Florida Keys. More than two hundred and sixty persons perished, and tons of gold, silver, and other precious cargo were lost to the sea. All attempts to locate the shipwreck failed until the location of the primary cultural deposit were made by Treasure Salvors, Inc. on July 20th, 1985. 

    Most of the coins recovered from the Atocha were minted in the New World and usually have irregular shapes. They were manufactured by cutting coin blanks from crudely cast bars of refined silver bullion; then clipped to the requisite weight, heated, and hand-hammered between crudely engraved dies. 

    Coins of Philip II (1556-1598) and Philip III (1598-1621) bear a simplified Hapsburg Shield on the Obverse. The legend, if complete, reads "PHILLIPVS II (III) DEI GRATIA." Philip II (III) By the Grace of God." The reverse has a cross with castles and lions in the quarters. The legend reads "HISPANIARVM: ET : INDIARVMREX," "King of Spain and the Indies."