1715 Fleet Coins

These coins are authentic salvaged treasure coins from a shipwreck of the Spanish 1715 Fleet.

When finally sailing from Havana on July 24, the 1715 Fleet of twelve or thirteen galleons was overloaded and it was well into hurricane season. Seven days later what may have been the greatest disaster to strike the Spanish Fleet became a reality as all the ships, their cargo, and as many as 1000 lives were lost. Several of the ships sank in shallow water and salvage operations by the Spanish took place over the next several years. Unfortunately, much of the treasure was lost in water too deep for breath-holding divers.

The official cargo of the fleet consisted of an estimated 14 million pesos. Contraband may have amounted to as much or more. After a hurricane in the 1950s, local resident Kip Wagner discovered a piece-of-eight on the beach near Sebastian Inlet in Florida and the modern salvage effect began. Coins minted in Mexico between 1711 and 1715 were the primary cargo, but Chinese porcelain, silverware, and gold and silver ingots have also been recovered. Even today as many as five or six of the original galleons remain undiscovered, presenting treasure hunters with the alluring possibility of fame and fortune.