Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion - 4 Reales - Date: Not Visible - Assayer "T"

Denomination: 4 Reales

Date: Not Visible

Mint: Potosi

Assayer: "T" Tapia  

Mount: Sterling Silver Mount

History: On September 28, 1641, the Spanish treasure fleet set sail for Seville, Spain carrying a wealth of newly minted treasures from the New World. Among the treasures were hand-struck silver coins minted in Mexico and Potosi, Bolivia, and precious items from the Orient, arriving by way of the Philippines (Manila). Spices, indigo, fine porcelain, and jade were neatly packed in the ship's hull, destined to line the coffers of wealthy merchants and the ever-powerful Spanish Empire. Only ten days prior, the Fleet attempted their first sail to Spain, though due to weather, many of the ships made their return to Havana with considerable damages.

The Concepcion was one such vessel, already bearing the pressure of an undersized rudder for her tonnage and loaded to the gunwales with treasure. Hurricane season was already well underway when the Concepcion attempted her second sail to Spain, and the Fleet was scattered just hours into the voyage. For days, she drifted, badly damaged until she ran aground in Hispaniola (present-day Dominican Republic) on October 31, 1641. Rumors circulated of an unfathomable treasure lost in the Caribbean, and word eventually reached Europe. In 1687, Captain William Phipps, who would later become the governor of Massachusetts, discovered and salvaged part of Concepcion’s treasure.