First ever NGC-slabbed shipwreck treasure bar to be sold in Sedwick Treasure Auction 33

2 May

The first ever shipwreck treasure bar encapsulated by NGC will cross the auction block in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s upcoming Treasure Auction 33.

The unique Colombian gold “finger” bar was lost for over 330 years in the sinking of the Spanish treasure gallon Maravillas on January 5th, 1656 off Grand Bahama Island.

The bar will be sold as lot 60 during the first day of the auction firm’s May 3rd and 4th sale, to be held online at Its pre-sale estimate is $40,000 and up; bidding at the time of writing stood at $100,000.

“This is an incredible opportunity to own the first NGC-certified treasure bar,” said Daniel Frank Sedwick, president and founder of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC. “As we see many collectors developing new interests in shipwreck treasure, we’re looking for ways to highlight the history and value of these rarities. Partnering with NGC to provide their certification for this impressive gold bar will make it even more attractive for the top bidder.”

NGC encapsulated the long gold bar weighing over 336 grams in their largest plastic slab dubbed the “mega holder.” The NGC holder label attests to both the authenticity of the bar and its provenance to the Maravillas. The slab’s inner gasket was trimmed to securely fit the gold bar and allow for full viewing of its markings.

The gold bar was cast and stamped in Zaragoza, an important gold-producing region in Colombia, as indicated on the bar by the complete foundry and assayer cartouche with RIBERA / ZARAGOZA inside. The top of the bar shows three clear fineness markings consisting of XIX inside a box next to a dot (the symbol for a quarter karat) inside a separate box; the fineness was also lightly incised into the surface prior to stamping. There are partial imprints of four circular tax stamps showing different parts of a typical Philip IV legend (as on the coins). Several patches of white coral encrustation across its surfaces corroborate its shipwreck pedigree.

In early 1655, this bar was loaded aboard the Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas in Cartagena, Colombia.  Spain relied on a constant stream of New World gold and silver along with jewelry, precious stones, and pearls to fund the kingdom’s expenses. The Maravillas itself carried over 5 million pesos in treasure meant for mainland Spain, including salvaged coins from the wreck of the Jesús María de la Limpia Concepción, sunk in 1654 after striking a reef off Chanduy, Ecuador.

After departing from Cartagena in July, English naval raids in northern Caribbean prevented the Maravillas from reaching its next port, Havana, until October. On January 1st, 1656, after repairs and restocking the ships’ stores were completed, the Spanish treasure fleet left Havana for Spain. The Marvillas, as the almiranta of the fleet, lead the way.

At midnight on January 4th, the Maravillas accidentally entered shallow water off Grand Bahama Island. The crew drastically reduced her speed and attempted to signal the fleet to halt by using cannon fire. Several ships misjudged the signals and continued forward. One of those ships struck the Maravillas near her bow, fatally damaging the galleon.

The Maravillas’ captain attempted to ground her on a nearby reef. However, the ship took on water too quickly and partially sank in deeper water. Strong winds and waves began to tear the ship apart as her crew clung to any masts and rigging still above water. Of the 650 sailors aboard, just 45 survived the night and were rescued by another galleon in the fleet which had anchored nearby. For a time, the Maravillas and her treasure were a complete loss.

In mid-1656, Spanish divers led by Capitan Juan de Somovilla Texada located the site of the scattered Maravillas wreck. Picking amongst the debris yielded a small fraction of the whole treasure. Subsequent salvage work over the next three years resulted in a modest recovery of about a quarter of her riches. The wreck site was then covered by sand and lost for over 300 years.

In 1972, Robert F. Marx and his salvage company, Seafinders Inc., located the Maravillas. After identifying the wreck and obtaining a lease form the Bahamian government, they began salvaging coins, artifacts, and ingots from the site. Many of their recoveries sold at auction two years later.

In the late 1980s, Herbert Humphreys and his company, Marex, conducted further salvage work on the Maravillas. In addition to coins and artifacts, Marex recovered several gold “finger” bars from the ocean floor. The recovered treasure was then sold in the original Christie’s sale of Maravillas treasure in May of 1992; the gold bar now being offered for sale sold as lot 139.

Over 16 years later, it reappeared in Belgium where it was sold in a Jean Elsen auction as lot 1129. It subsequently appeared in Daniel Frank Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 6 held in October of 2009 as lot 1625.

The gold bar has now come back around for a second sale through Sedwick’s Treasure Auctions where pre-sale bidding has already surpassed its prior auction sales. Ultimately, one bidder will win this unique piece of Maravillas shipwreck history.

Live online bidding for the entire sale will be hosted at on May 3rd and 4th. New bidders are asked to register in advance in order to participate. All lots include a 20% buyer’s premium on the hammer price. The Maravillas gold bar can be viewed on the auction site here:

Unique treasures in Sedwick’s May 3 & 4 auction

12 Apr

This is truly an amazing auction to behold as we host many rare pieces seeing their first—and possibly only—time on the market.

Lot 27 – the gold experimental 4 escudos dated 1591

We’ll begin Gold Cobs in Session I with a substantial selection of high-grade Spain escudos. A particular highlight, in its own category, is the gold experimental 4 escudos dated 1591 with assayer initial C struck in Madrid by Miguel de la Cerda (lot 27). This incredible rarity, graded by NGC as Mint State 64, is the finest example among three known survivors. This coin represents the first official coinage made in Madrid, created using a new minting technique called “Ingenio de la Tijera” before the official royal mint was even established.

Immediately following, we have the finest known Mexico City, Mexico 1715 J gold cob 8 escudos from the 1715 Fleet graded NGC MS 65 (lot 28). This coin was originally sold by Frank Sedwick in 1988 and is now coming back to us 35 years later to offer to the next collector. Other Fleet opportunities in this sale include a “top pop” Cuzco, Peru 1698 M gold cob 2 escudos graded NGC MS 64 (lot 33) as well as a Lima, Peru 1712 M gold cob 8 escudos graded NGC MS 62 from the famous 2015 “Tricentennial Treasure” found off Douglass Beach (lot 35).

Lot 60 – the Colombian gold bar from the Maravillas

Our Shipwreck Ingots section hosts a fantastic find: a complete Colombian gold bar from the wreck of the Maravillas, sunk in 1656 off Grand Bahama Island (lot 60)—the only gold bar we have offered from this wreck. In a first for us, NGC, and the treasure market, we will be selling this bar encapsulated and authenticated in an NGC mega holder with Maravillas slab label designation. Other treasures include a gold “tejo” ingot from the Luz wreck (lot 61) and a Chinese gold “sycee” ingot from the “Nanking Cargo” wreck (lot 62).

Shipwreck Coins contains a bountiful selection of salvaged rarities including one of the finest collections of high grade and dated Atocha cobs (lots 71-198) we have ever seen (dubbed the RWB Reference Collection, here published for the first time). There are many choice pieces from our popular shipwrecks like the Capitana, the 1715 Fleet, and the Vliegenthart as well as the rare shipwrecks like the Vergulde Draeck, the “Jupiter Wreck,” and the Fame. Watch for our first time offering of a coin from the SB Pulaski shipwreck, a Zacatecas, Mexico 1835 OM cap-and-rays 8 reales (lot 361). Other US shipwreck rarities up for bidding include a denomination set of US gold and silver coins from the SS Central America (lots 364-376) plus a sizable date run of SS Republic half dollars (lots 381-395).

Session II starts with selections from the Clyde Hubbard Collection of Mexican coinage, a 250+ lot offering of rarities such as a Mint State Charles-Joanna 4 reales assayer G graded NGC MS 61 (lot 404), a Philip II cob 8 reales assayer O graded NGC XF 45 (the first circulating 8 reales of Mexico) (lot 450), and the unique cob 1 real Royal of Philip III assayer F graded NGC XF 45 (lot 560). Mexico Silver Cobs features the finest known Philip II cob 8 reales assayer F graded NGC MS 62 (lot 660). The finest and only graded Lima, Peru “Star of Lima” type cob 4 reales dated 1660 V, graded by NGC as XF 45, stands out in Lima Silver Cobs. The Potosí Silver Cobs section is particularly attractive as we host several key rarities: the only graded 1700 F cob 8 reales Royal (lot 736), the 1726 Y cob 8 reales Royal of Louis I (lot 743), and the unique 1701 Y cob 4 reales Heart graded NGC VF 30 (lot 752).

The following day, we’ll start Session III, World Coins, with a variety of key Latin American rarities. The Bogotá, Colombia 1888 “Cocobola” bust 50 centavos graded MS 61 and pedigreed to the Pat Johnson collection (lot 874) is sure to attract attention. The advanced Costa Rican collector will want to watch for the very rare 1917 GCR 50 céntimos without the 1923 counterstamp (one of just 10 recorded in 1917) graded NGC MS 63 (lot 896). Two finest known Guatemalan coins stand out—the extremely rare 1778 P gold 1 escudo graded NGC XF 40 (lot 947) and the finest known 1801/797 M gold 1 escudo graded NGC MS 62 (lot 948). We’re pleased to offer an absolutely gorgeous Mexico City, Mexico gold bust 8 escudos dated 1743 MF graded NGC MS 62 with prooflike luster (lot 980). A star in the session is the impressive Cuzco, Peru 1837 BA gold 8 escudos graded NGC MS 63 (lot 1025) with a design once called “the most beautiful gold coin of the Americas.” We close out the session with a key modern Venezuela rarity, the 1975 gold 500 bolívares graded NGC MS 69 (lot 1091).

Lot 1261 – the finest bronze Washingon / Declaration of Independence medal

Session IV begins with Medals and Decorations where we’ll host the fourth assembly of high grade and rare Admiral Vernon medals from the John Adams Collection (lots 1104-1178). The section also plays host to such desirable pieces like the Gran Cruz knight’s badge for the Spanish Order of Charles III awarded to Captain General José de la Gándara y Navarro for command during the War of Restoration in Santo Domingo (1863-65) (lot 1100). An artistic medal commemorating the 1624 Dutch navy victories pedigreed to the José Toribio Medina collection (lot 1201) is sure to attract international bidding attention. California gold features prominently in US Coins and Medals as we offer a San Francisco Assay Office 1852 gold $10 coin graded NGC AU 58 (lot 1249) plus three San Francisco-minted gold pieces from the Saddle Ridge Hoard (lots 1213-1215). Following up on our previous auction’s record-breaking sale, we offer the finest extant bronze George Washington and the Declaration of Independence medal made by Charles Cushing Wright graded PCGS SP65 (lot 1261).

A pair of Georgia proof bank note rarities (lots 1275-1276) stand out in US Paper Money along with a unique Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Rail Road $10 note (lot 1280). World Paper Money hosts several key notes including the finest known Guatemala Banco Comercial 1 peso of 1892 graded WBG AU 58 TOP (lot 1309), a serial number 1 Banco de Guatemala 1 peso of 1896 graded PMG VF 35 EPQ (lot 1311), and the colorful Panama “Arias” 5 balboas specimen note of 1941 graded PMG UNC 60 (lot 1328).

Lot 1309 – a gorgeous Guatemala Banco Comercial 1 peso note from 1892

Following our Coin Jewelry section of numismatic wearables, the Shipwreck Artifacts section has an intact silver wine goblet from the Atocha (lot 1379)—ready for the winning bidder to take a swig from. Non-Wreck Artifacts features a Wild West era Colt 1851 Navy revolver (lot 1406). We’ll finish this amazing auction with our Express session of affordable collector’s pieces. To all: thank you and good luck!

View the entire online catalog, get registered, and place bids on our auction website here >>

Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 33 – Consign by Feb. 10th

30 Jan

The continued strength of the numismatic market makes one thing clear: numismatic rarities and top collections belong in a Sedwick Treasure Auction. In 2022, our two Treasure Auctions plus our first exclusive paper money auction realized over $8.4 million – well above presale estimate totals – and we want you to be a part of our next sale!

For our upcoming Treasure Auction 33, we are seeking consignments of:

  • Shipwreck Gold and Silver Coins and Ingots (Atocha, 1715 Fleet, etc.)
  • Rare Latin American and World Gold and Silver Coins
  • US Coins and Bank Notes
  • World Bank Notes
  • Certified Shipwreck Artifacts

Perhaps you haven’t added to your collection in some time and are looking for the right way to bring it to market. Or you’re adjusting your collecting goals and want to sell coins in order to buy different assets.

That’s where we come in.

We offer decades of numismatic experience, personalized service, printed auction catalogs, and top bidders through our convenient bidding platform. For significant collections, we will travel to you. We are also attending the Long Beach Coin Expo held on February 2-4 and will accept consignments there (contact us to set up an appointment).

The consignment deadline for our next auction is February 10th. Contact us today by emailing us at or giving us a call at (407)-975-3325.

2022 at Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC – and what’s next in 2023

31 Dec

A look back on 2022

2022 proved to be an exciting year for numismatics as travel re-opened and coin shows came back. Fresh, quality material came from many consignors into our May and November Treasure Auctions 31 and 32 plus our first ever exclusive Paper Money Auction held in July. And collectors paid attention to this influx of rarities with intense bidding action.

Between our two Treasure Auctions, we realized over $8.29 million. With the addition of our first paper money sale, total auction sales in 2022 reached over $8.4 million – a record year for us!

Our top selling auction item over this past year was a unique piece of American history: the only Declaration of Independence medal struck in silver by Charles Cushing Wright which sold for $168,000 in our November auction.

This special medal, produced in the 1850s, depicts the presentation of the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress on one side while the other side lists important American historical events leading up to 1776. It was graded by NGC as MS 62; the label also notes its pedigree to the famous Bushnell, Garrett, and Adams collections. Thus, a new pedigree is added to the medal through our auction – as part of the Resolute Americana Collection.

Our top selling lot in 2022 was this unique silver Declaration of Independence medal.

Our May Treasure Auction saw the sale of a large gold “tumbaga” bar recovered from an early Spanish colonial shipwreck sunk around 1528 off the Bahamas. This crude yet historically important gold bar weighed 1,222 grams of around 10-13 karat gold and bears the tax stamps of Emperor Charles V. Strong bidding drove the price up to its final selling point – $78,000.

Our first US and World Paper Money Auction saw the sale of an incredibly rare Banco de Panama 50 pesos note of 1869. With only 500 notes printed and very few surviving, aggressive bidding led the note to sell for $10,200 on a pre-sale estimate of $4,000 and up.

Several major collections to cross the auction block in our sales this year include two offerings of the John Adams Collection of Admiral Vernon Medals, two sections of the Clyde Hubbard Collection of Mexican Charles-Joanna Coinage, and the Gansu Collection of Chinese Panda Coinage.

A look towards 2023

We have two major sales scheduled in 2023 – Treasure Auction 33 on May 3-4 and Treasure Auction 34 on Nov. 2-3.

With motivated bidders watching our auctions for quality coin rarities, this is the perfect opportunity to consign – whether it’s a full collection or a few choice coins. There are several shows coming up that will make consigning easy for you.

We’ll be at the FUN coin show on Jan. 4-5 here in Orlando, Florida at booths 443 and 445. There, we’ll accept consignments including artifacts or heavy ingots. Our full store inventory will be on display and up for sale as well.

The following week, we will attend the New York International Numismatic Convention on Jan. 11-15 in New York City. Our booth number there is 610. If you’re attending, stop by and see us.

Augi García-Barneche will be walking the Long Beach Expo on Feb. 2-4; this will be the last show before our Treasure Auction 33 consignment deadline in late February. If you’re unable to attend any of these shows, please give us a call or email us to start the consignment process.

We are looking forward to attending the 4th Convención Internacional de Historiadores y Numismáticos (International Convention of Historians and Numismatists) to be held in Santo Domingo from June 28 th to July 2 nd . This academic event brings professional collectors and researchers together for discussions and presentations on Spanish colonial and Dominican numismatic topics. Plus, we’ll tour parts of historical Santo Domingo – the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in the Americas.

Two major auctions, plenty of busy coin shows, a major academic event – it’s easy to see why we’re excited for 2023!

Unique Declaration of Independence medal leads record $4.27 million Sedwick auction

11 Nov

A unique American silver medal depicting the presentation of the Declaration of Independence set a new record during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Nov. 3 & 4 Treasure Auction 32.

The live online and floor auction was itself a record sale for the firm with over $4.27 million sold across 1,622 lots.

The large proof silver medal was created in 1851 by artist Charles Cushing Wright. It was the only example he struck in silver and has been called Wright’s masterpiece.

On one side, the medal depicts the presentation of the draft of the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress on June 28th, 1776. Founding Fathers John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin along with Richard Sherman and Robert R. Livingston on the drafting committee are shown presenting the draft Declaration to the president of Congress, John Hancock. Of the 47 men present in the entire scene set at Independence Hall, 42 of them were signers of the Declaration of Independence. The design is based heavily upon the famous 1818 painting by John Trumbull that currently hangs in the US Capitol rotunda.

The other side of the medal presents a highlight of formative American historical events from the “DISCOVERY OF NORTH AMERICA BY THE ENGLISH.JLY.3.1497” to “ASSAULT ON QUEBEC BY AMERICANS.DEC.31.1775.” A vignette of Europeans landing on America’s shores as a Native American awaits graces the top of the reverse design. The bottom scene depicts a developed, busy American harbor.

The entire ownership pedigree for this unique medal can be traced dating back to Charles Ira Bushnell (Chapman auction of June 1882, lot 1274), the Garrett Estate (Bowers & Ruddy auction of April 1981, lot 1910), Julian Leidman (Bowers & Merena auction of April 1986, lot 4126), and Charles A. Warton (Stack’s Bowers auction of March 2014, lot 2077), subsequently purchased by numismatist John Adams in the Stack’s Bowers auction of August 2018 (lot 46).

NGC graded the medal as MS 62 though a specimen designation is more appropriate to describe this unique piece.

The pre-sale estimate for the lot was $25,000 and up. After spirited bidding, both online and via phone, the medal sold for $168,000. Thus, another pedigree for this unique medal has been added – as part of the Resolute Americana Collection.

“We were honored to offer this uniquely American medal at auction and see it sell so well,” said Daniel Frank Sedwick, president and founder of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC. “It’s really fitting that the prior owner, John Adams, is himself related to Founding Father John Adams depicted on this medal.”

Shipwreck treasure also saw considerable interest during the auction with many lots surpassing their high estimates.

A unique gold bar recovered from the “Corrigan’s” wreck site of a 1715 Fleet treasure ship at Vero Beach, Florida attracted heavy bidding.

The gold ingot, weighing 915 grams and marked with a fineness of 22k, was made in Colombia before being shipped to Spain in the ill-fated fleet. It bears the royal tax stamp as well as a decorated assayer/foundry stamp (B)ARBACO(A)S indicating its origin from the important Colombian gold mining town, Barbacoas. Salvors recovered the bar in 1983 and, soon after, it went into the collection of 1715 Fleet investor Don Anderson.

With an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000, considerable bidding led to a final sale price of $132,000 for the 1715 Fleet gold bar.

The highest selling coin lot in the auction was an extremely rare gold Venezuela essai 5 venezolanos dated 1875-A in its first auction appearance ever.

The coin, graded by NGC as Proof 62 Cameo, is one of ten struck by the by the Paris Mint for the nation of Venezuela. Only five examples, including this piece, are in private hands. Another four are in museums like the Banco Central in Caracas, Venezuela. The tenth example is buried in the cornerstone of the Simon Bolivar statue by Adamo Tadolini in Plaza Bolivar also in Caracas.

The rarity and importance of this coin in Latin American numismatics sparked a bidding war. The coin ultimately sold for $78,000 on a pre-sale estimate of $30,000 to $45,000.

Other top lots in the sale include:

  • Lima, Peru (State of North Peru), gold 4 escudos, 1838 M, extremely rare, graded NGC AU 53, finest known in NGC census, ex-Hammel, ex-Goodman (lot 1040) sold for $66,000.
  • Philippines (under Spain), silver 8 reales, crowned Isabel II “Y.II” countermark (Type VI, 1834-37) on an Argentina (River Plate Provinces), 8 soles, 1815 FL, Potosi mint, graded NGC AU 53, c/s AU standard (lot 1048) sold for $45,000.
  • Venezuela (struck at the Paris Mint by Barre), silver essai 1/2 real, 1863 E, graded NGC SP 61 (lot 1114) sold for $45,000.
  • Lima, Peru, gold bust 8 escudos, Ferdinand VI, 1758 JP, graded NGC MS 63, ex-Karon, ex-Segarra (lot 1020) sold for $33,600.
  • Guanajuato, Mexico, gold 20 pesos, 1872 S, NGC MS 66, finest known in NGC census (lot 1008) sold for $31,200.
  • Segovia, Spain, gold 4 excelentes, Ferdinand-Isabel, mintmark at top, denomination Arabic 4 above K at bottom between busts, rare, NGC AU 53 (lot 1065) sold for $26,400.
  • Potosi, Bolivia, cob 8 reales Royal (galano), Louis I, 1727 Y, very rare, graded NGC AU details / holed (lot 485) sold for $24,000.
  • Seville, Spain, gold milled 8 escudos, Philip V, 1701 M, florets flanking fleece, 8-S-8-M in tressure-dimples, graded NGC MS 65, finest known in NGC census (lot 1080) sold for $22,800.
  • Panama, proof silver 25 centimos, 1904, very rare, graded NGC PF 64 (lot 1015) sold for $21,000.
  • To see these and other highlights sold at auction click here

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s next Treasure Auction will be held in May 3-4, 2023. Interested consignors should contact the company by email at or phone +407.975.3325 (deadline February 10, 2023). Full auction results are available at

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