Argentina gold, shipwreck treasure tops Sedwick’s 25th Treasure Auction
In Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, US Coin & Paper Money Auction 25 on May 2-3, 2019 the top coin lot is an Argentina gold 8 escudos struck in 1832 at the La Rioja mint. The coin exhibits an overdate of 1832/1 and is graded by NGC as MS 62, a rare grade for the type.
It is pedigreed to numismatist George Gund III’s collection. The obverse of the coin depicts a sunface, a common design found in post-colonial Latin American coinage. The coin is estimated at $20,000 and up.
The sale will also host a number of ingots recovered from famous shipwrecks. One such ingot is a large gold bar from the Tumbaga wreck which sank around 1528 off Grand Bahama Island. The bar weighs 1.816 kilograms and contains 9 karat gold with a balance of silver, copper, and other trace metals. The early Spanish colonial bar also bears the tax stamps of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. It is estimated at $35,000 to $50,000.
Another gold bar and four silver ingots from the wreck of the Atocha, sunk in 1622 off Key West, Florida, are also available for bidding. The largest silver bar weighs 92 troy pounds, 3.84 troy ounces and features markings from the owner, Arriola, and the assayer, Mexia. The bar is accompanied by the original salvager’s certificate as well as stock certificates originally issued for the salvage company. The estimate on the bar is $30,000 and up.
The gold bar from the Atocha weighs 622 grams and has a gold fineness of 20-1/4 karats. Its long, thin shape led to its modern day nickname of “finger” bar. The surface of the bar shows markings for the fineness, foundry, owner, and seven tax stamps. The lot also includes the original salvager’s certificate. The ingot is estimated by the auction firm at $25,000 to $37,500.
Shipwreck coins will make a big showing in the auction. In a rare occasion, a pair of gold Seville, Spain cob 2 escudos, one each from the Atocha and its sister ship Santa Margarita that sank at the same time, will appear in the sale. The Atocha 2 escudos is dated 1617 and estimated at $7,000 to $10,000. The Santa Margarita 2 escudos bears a partial date from the 1620s and is estimated at $6,000 to $9,000.
Another shipwreck artifact of historical importance is a 22-karat, 42” long gold chain from the “Cabin wreck” site of the 1715 Fleet. The fleet sank on July 31, 1715 off the east coast of Florida during a hurricane while carrying treasure to Spain. On July 21, 1964, the chain was recovered and documented by the salvage company Real Eight Company. Supporting documents attesting to the find and where it was located at the wrecksite are included with the chain. The estimate on the lot is $20,000 and up.
Other top lots in the sale include:
- Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1705H, from the 1715 Fleet and graded NGC MS 62 as well as pedigreed to the Real Eight Co. and Pullin collections. Estimate: $15,000 and up.
- Cut gold bar #22, 282.2 oz troy, marked with fineness XIX: (19.5K) four times, assayer/foundry FERNAND / ALONSO, and tax stamps, from the Santa Margarita. Estimate: $15,000 and up.
- Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1714/3M, rare, NGC MS 62, from the 1715 Fleet (designated on label). Estimate: $15,000 to $22,500.
- Guatemala, gold bust 8 escudos, Ferdinand VII, 1757J, NGC VF 35. Estimate: $15,000 to $22,500.
- Honduras, gold 10 pesos, 1883, NGC AU 50. Estimate: $15,000 to $22,500.
- Large gold-in-quartz specimen, 323.2 grams, from the Sixteen to One Mine in California. Estimate: $12,500 to $20,000.
- Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1747V, NGC MS 63, finest known in NGC census. Estimate: $10,000 to $15,000.
- Guadalajara, Mexico, bust 8 escudos, Ferdinand VII, 1821FS, rare, NGC AU 50, ex-Damon (stated on label). Estimate: $10,000 to $15,000.
- Peru, gold star medal with diamonds, ca. 1853, rare, Salbach Plate. Estimate: $10,000 to $15,000.
- Popayan, Colombia, 10 pesos, 1870, extremely rare, PCGS AU 58, finest known in PCGS census. Estimate: $7,000 to $10,000.
- Set of original proof British India silver coins dated 1945 consisting of the one, half, and quarter rupees, all graded by PCGS. Combined estimate: $10,000 to $15,000.