ATOCHA FLEET SHIPWRECK GOLD BAR TREASURE ESCUDOS DOUBLOON COIN PIRATE JEWELRY
ATOCHA SHIPWRECK GOLD TREASURE BAR 1622 "MEL FISHER" 31.3OZ "ENRADA- MEL FISHER 1985 SALVAGE W/ COA!
This stunning Shipwreck Gold Treasure bar from the Nuestra Señora De Atocha from 1622 was recovered July 20th 1985 by Treasure Salvors, Inc. “Mel Fisher Family.” The weight is 31.3oz (Troy ounces for gold are 31g's as opposed to the traditional 28g) The measurements are 21.3cm x 3.2mm x 1.3cm, this is a very large bar (8 1/2 inches x 1.3in x 1/2 in). Poured & Struck in COLOMBIA from the Pena-Randa Foundry in 1621-22.
I have researched many of the “En Rada” bars and this certainly ranks near the top in condition and clarity. It has 6 (SIX) Tax Stamps ~ indicating the “Royal Fifth” as been paid, 2 (TWO) Foundry stamps (En Rada) and 4(FOUR) “Purity Locations” karat markings of 20.75 karats (XX… = 20.75 karats). There’s also an assayer “scoop or bite” located at center left (called the “Bocado”). This sample “bite” was taken by the assayer to test the metal and he retained as his fee. These bars came from off the Keys “Deep Water Wreck” off the Gulf. In all my research and through colleagues’ long term research there’s approximately 12 of these bars known.
“OUR LADY of ATOCHA,” SANK IN 1622 OFF THE FLORIDA KEYS, HAVANA BOUND FOR SPAIN. HER GALLEON FILLED WITH ALL TREASURE: GOLD, SILVER, COPPER, TOBACCO, GEMS, AND JEWELRY. SHE NEVER MADE IT OUT OF VERACRUZ TO HAVANA – TO JOIN THE FLEET OF THE TIERRA FIRME (MAINLAND) FLEET. HER TREASURE WAS SO ENORMOUS THAT IT TOOK 2 MONTHS TO LOAD THE GALLEON FULL (IN THE SUMMER OF 1622 IN WHAT IS NOW PANAMA CITY). SHE SET SAIL 6 WEEKS BEHIND SCHEDULE ON SEPTEMBER 4TH, 1622. ONLY TWO DAYS LATER ON THE 6TH, SHE WAS PUSHED ONTO THE CORAL REEFS BY A SEVERE HURRICANE (APPROX. 35 MILES WEST OF “KEY WEST.”) ALL BUT 3 SAILORS AND TWO SLAVES DROWNED QUICKLY AS HER HULL WAS RIPPED APART BADLY.
AUTHORITIES IN SPAIN DISPATCHED FIVE MORE SHIPS AFTER RECEIVING THE NEWS FROM OTHER SURVIVING SHIPS IN EFFORTS TO SALVAGE BOTH THE ATOCHA AND HER SISTER SHIP THE “SANTA MARGARITA,” WHICH HAD ALSO RUN AGROUND NEAR THE ATOCHA. DUE TO THE GALLEONS SITTING IN 55’ OF OCEAN AND YET A SECOND HURRICANE HITTING (FURTHER SCATTERING THE TREASURE) THE FOLLOWING MONTH, SALVAGE EFFORTS WERE SEVERLY HINDERED. WITH THE HELP OF INDIAN SLAVES, OVER A COURSE OF YEARS, ALMOST HALF THE TREASURE WAS RECOVERED FROM THE SANTA MARGARITA. THIS WAS MAINLY ACCOMPLISHED, CRUDELY ENOUGH, BY SENDING SLAVES DOWN IN A BRASS MAKESHIFT DIVING BELL (WITH A WINDOW ON THE SIDE). MANY OF THESE EFFORTS ENDED IN DEATH FOR THE SLAVES.
SPAIN’S SHIPWRECKED TREASURE CAUSED NOTHING SHORT OF DEVESTATION TO IT’S FINANCES, WHICH WERE IN DIER NEED TO FUND THEIR 30 YEAR WAR. THIS FORCED THEM TO BORROW MONEY AND SELL OFF GALLEONS TO RAISE THE MUCH NEEDED FUNDS. ALTHOUGH THE SPANISH RECOVERY EFFORTS WERE SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFUL OVER 10 YEARS, THEY NEVER DID FIND THE “ATHOCHA!” FINALLY, AFTER 16.5 YEARS OF SEARCHING SHE WAS FINALLY DISCOVERED IN 1985 BY MEL FISHER (TREASURE SALVORS), PRODUCING HER GOLD AND RARE MUZO EMERALDS.
MOST OF THE GOLD AND SILVER COINS WERE MINTED BETWEEN 1598 TO 1621 (THERE WERE ALSO EARLIER DATES, EVEN AS FAR BACK AS THE EARLY 1500’S ON BOARD). TREASURE IS STILL BEING BROUGHT UP TO THIS DAY. RECENTLY, IN JUNE 2011 AN EMERALD AND GOLD RING WAS BROUGHT UP BY TREASURE DIVERS FROM MEL FISHER’S CREW THAT WAS VALUED AT OVER $500,000 (35 MILES FROM KEY WEST).