|With Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World, Spain gained control of a vast overseas empire with great riches. The king needed this treasure to fund the frequent wars that depleted the royal coffers. In time the area Spain controlled became known as the Spanish Main. After Hernando Cortez conquered Mexico in 1519, the Spanish used native Indians to mine the gold and silver in South and Central America. The metals were refined and made into coins. Some coins were cut from bars into pieces called 'cobs' (cut off the bars.) Other gold and silver coins were made from rolled sheets and blanks using crude dies and presses. Thousands of tons of gold and silver were shipped to Spain. Between 1492 and 1830 the New World produced 4,035,156,000 gold and silver pesos. Carried in the holds of the treasure fleets, these riches drew pirates to them like a magnet is drawn to metal. Each year fleets of Spanish ships departed from Havana, Cuba for the return trip to Spain, they sailed north and east until they reached the latitude of forty degrees before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The journey lasted approximately two months. The later they departed the New World for Spain, however, the greater their risk of encountering a hurricane somewhere along the narrow passage between the Bahama banks and the Florida reefs. When one of the oldest and richest of the treasure galleons sank in 1641, more than forty years passed before the wreck was discovered. During the Golden Age of Piracy, a rich treasure fleet departed Havana in late July bound for Spain. The Spaniards kept watch for pirates, but it was a hurricane that ravished the fleet, killing over 700 people and sinking a cargo worth more than 14,000,000 pesos. Salvagers recovered one third of the treasure before bad weather and rough seas wiped away all traces of the sunken ships. More than two centuries passed before treasure hunters rediscovered the lost Treasure Fleet of 1715. Galleons guarded the treasure bound for Spain and the king?s coffers. A single captured prize could make a pirate rich--if he caught her. Yet as stalwart as the galleon appeared, she was actually quite fragile when pitted against Mother Nature, who succeeded in wrecking the galleons, which sank to the ocean floor with their precious cargo. Spanish gold doubloons were manufactured or minted in four denominations. The 8 escudo gold doubloon equaled one ounce of gold; the 4 escudo piece equaled 1/2 ounce of gold; the 2 escudo doubloon equaled 1/4 doubloon. The one escudo piece was 1/8 ounce of gold. The coins in this set are replicas of original Spanish gold pieces. Eachcoin is marked COPY on the reverse as required by the Hobby Protection Act of 1973. Each coin is gold plated and made of lead free pewter. Made in the U.S.A. by the Dunston Mint. ?2010 This collection is in the REPRODUCTION section. These pieces are NOT ancient coins. Each coin is stamped 'COPY' on the reverse. Payment methods: Seller accepts PayPal. Shipping Methods: buyer will pay $5.00 for Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope within the United States. International shipping costs are $13.00 for Priority Mail International flat rate envelope. ADDITIONAL COIN REPLICAS ARE FOUND IN MY E-BAY STORE AT http:// stores.ebay.com/warrenscoins.|
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