Silver Coin Research!
Over the weekend John Corcoran, our Senior Conservator, completed the conservation of the clump of 47 coins recently found by the DARE on the Atocha wreck site. They've now been turned over to Sue Pierson, our Curator. As we anticipated some of these coins are incredibly rare due to the fact that they were almost certainly the personal cargo of one of the passengers on board the ship along with the fact that they were found in a clump allowing many of the coins to remain protected from ocean wear.

We are in the preliminary stages of research and in doing so are cross-referencing many different coin books. This is necessary because these coins are so rare that there is only a handful that our conservators have ever seen. Carol Tedesco, Sue Pierson and John Corcoran have begun to analyze the markings on each of the coins and have found some very intriguing distinctions that indicate some are Santa Fe de Bogota coins and some may be from Cartagena. Other markings including direction of lines, positioning and arrangement of the lions, the presence or lack of a pomegranate and the shaping of the letters all indicate nuances that set each of these coins apart. We are extremely excited about this continuing research and preliminary estimates by researchers value one of the Cartagena silver coins at $40,000 due to its individual condition and rarity. It is impossible to value the collection of coins at this point but it is safe to say they will be well above your average silver coin. Here are some video clips and photographs to help illustrate the beginnings of the research process.

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