1715 FLEET MONEY CHAIN 24” & GOLD CRUCIFIX PIRATE GOLD COINS SHIPWRECK TREASURE
GOLD CRUCIFIX MONEY CHAIN 23-24” 1715 FLEET SHIPWRECK PIRATE GOLD COINS TREASURE
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1715 FLEET * GOLD CRUCIFIX & OLIVE BLOSSOM CHAIN 1715 FLEET ARTIFACT ARTIFACT RELIC MONEY CHAIN Approx. 24” and approx. 28gm & (THREE) 3 COA's . Original COA Curator Jack Haskins, Jr. in 1986 (Artifact #00215). COA reflects the chain was made in PERU (very likely INCA Gold), approximately 22kt Gold. The Olive Blossom style chains were created with great care and are of the most "Ornate" Variety. This particular one is in Grade 1 Condition, no kinks, snags or breaks known. The Chains were created in several styles, this particular artifact is of the "6 pedal" style, and is very sought after!1
The Gold CRUCIFIX is approx. 3.6gm of 22kt Gold and measures (6cm x 3.5cm) 2.5" x 1.5" an was created in "Gold Filigree" style, which was an ancient form of jewelry making. The earliest relics of this style come from archaeological digs in Mesopotamia and ate back 5,000 years before the present. It spread from there through India and Turkey and eventually across the Iberian Peninsula. This popular style moved across the Atlantic in the waves of European immigrants came to what was termed the "New World!"
Both of these Artifacts were discovered separately (Crucifix in 1960's by Original founding member John Johnson), and the Olive Blossom Chain was brought up by Jack Haskins, Jr. (Curator & Historical Shipwreck Salvor). There is also an 18 page Appraisal of both relics by the Original Marine Archaeologist "James Sinclair of SeaRex." Sinclair was an Archaeologist on the "1622 Atocha" recovery team as well as on the "1715 FLEET."
The new Queen (Elizabeth Farneese) would not consummate the marriage to King Philip Vth until her Dowry arrived (which is one of the reason the King pressured the Fleet to sail during the Hurricane season), almost immediately after the “War of the Succession” (an almost 15 year war from 1700-1715.
In the evening of July 30, 1715 , seven days after departing from Havana, Cuba, 11 of the 12 ships of this fleet were lost in a hurricane near present day Vero Beach, Florida. Because the fleet was carrying silver, it is also known as the 1715 Plate Fleet (plata being the Spanish word for silver plate). Some artifacts and even coins still wash up on Florida beaches from time to time. Around 1,000 sailors perished while a small number survived on lifeboats. Many ships, including pirates, took part in the initial salvage. Initially a privateer, Henry Jennings was first accused of piracy for attacking such salvage ships and claiming their salvages. Thus, earning this coinage the name of “Pirate’s Gold!”
The story begins with the “War of the Spanish Succession” ending, as well as the death of the Spanish Queen. King Philip found a new bride, Elizabeth Farnesse, Duchess of Palma and needed a new Queens Dowry. The king would send two separate fleets to the New World (after the Government had cancelled all sailings from the Americas to Spain for two years), which would load up at separate ports ~ Vera Cruz and Cartegena, then meet up in Havana. The plan was to have one large Armada with a heavy navel escort, carrying the accumulated precious metals and jewels from the last three years. Of which, the average year sailed in between 90 and 120 million francs. Treasure ~ The Cartegena Fleet arrived first in Havana (in March), loaded down by chests filled with Gold coins (from Santa Fe de Bogota), Colombian Emeralds from Muzo mine and gold jewelry from Peru. Awaiting the fleet of Vera Cruz, commanded by Gen. Don Juan Eseban de Ubilla, carrying Gold and Silver ingots. However Don Juan was delayed in Vera Cruz awaiting pack mule trains from Acapulco. Finally in the first week of May the mule train arrived with their silks, ivories and blue and white porcelains. The details of the Queens jewels are blurry at best, but were known to include and Emerald ring weighing in at 74 carats, a heart designed from 130 matched pears, a pair of earrings each of 14 pears and a rosary of pure coral. There were 8 chests in total and stowed in Ubilla’s cabin (who was a senior military officer and had overall command).
After many other delays, finally the Galleons left Havana on Wednesday July 24th, with favorable winds pushing them at nearly 6 knots. By the 29th the winds were over 70 knots, with gusts hitting over 100 knots. The chaplain said, “the water flew in the air like arrows, doing injury to those it hit.” Finally, at 2:30am on July 31st, the flagship hit the reefs and torn apart, throwing all off her decks and 223 sailors were pounded to death by the rocks. More than 700 men were missing, wreckage and bodies scattered for almost 30 miles along the coast. For the next four years the Spanish attempted to salvage the treasure, but finally ceased in 1719. The dangers or sharks, pirates and Indians were just too great. Records show approx.. 30% of the inventoried treasure was recovered, which is a low estimate due to much of the inventory being kept off the books to avoid the king’s tax. There was an estimate of 14 million pesos registered treasure lost.
This sunken fleet of Galleons is still giving up her Treasure! In 2010 the claim owners discovered the only bronze swivel gun ever found on the 1715 Fleet. Tucked away inside this the bronze cannon were 51 Gold Escudos and 40 Silver Reales. Shortly after was another discovery of the most amazing artifact, the “Pelican in Piety,” worth $885,000. Then in July 2014, the claim owners crew recovered another 51 Gold escudos valued at $300,000. Most recently, another find of 50 Feet of Gold Chain and 5 additional Gold escudos were just recovered, approx.. $300,000 in value.