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400-year-old twist of fate uniting Cartagena, Colombia, and Florida Keys history to be celebrated

15 Sep

When the primary cultural deposit – the motherlode – of the 1622 fleet galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha was discovered by divers working for treasure hunter Mel Fisher near Key West, Florida in 1985, among its riches was a vast cargo of silver coins the likes of which had never been seen before. The discovery also delivered a bombshell surprise of evidence for historians: confirmation that hand-struck silver coins were produced in the Nuevo Reino de Granada – today’s Colombia – as early as 1621, a fact that some had suspected, but none had proof to substantiate.

This year, from December 1 to December 5, 2021, 400 years after the conflict-ridden establishment of minting houses in both Cartagena and Santa Fe de Bogota, coin experts and history enthusiasts from all over the world – including six from Florida – will gather in Colombia’s romantic sea-port city for “Cartagena MMXXI – the 3rd International Convention of Historians and Numismatists” where they will examine and celebrate this fascinating point in time along with other key moments in numismatic history.

Noted Colombian historian, numismatist and San José shipwreck expert Jorge Becerra de Leon, left, and historic research expert/numismatist Jorge Proctor, in period costume, address an audience at a previous conference. Both will be featured speakers at Cartagena MMXXI – the 3rd International Convention of Historians and Numismatists, taking place December 1-5, 2021, in Cartagena, Colombia. (Photo by Carol Tedesco)

Open to the public, the convention features presentations by some of the world’s leading experts, including Florida’s Jorge Proctor of Pompano Beach, an archival research expert, numismatist and head of the convention’s academic committee; noted marine archaeologist, anthropologist, author and retired professor Dr. R. Duncan Mathewson III of Little Torch Key, who led the Atocha’s archaeological recovery process; Orlando-based professional numismatist and convention V.P. of North American relations, Augi Garcia; Orlando-based professional numismatist and author Daniel Frank Sedwick, Tampa-based professional numismatist Colin M. Blyth, and Key West and Gainesville-based shipwreck coin curation expert, author and International Conventions founding member Carol Tedesco.

Though researchers reported that coins were minted in Colombia as early as 1622, until the discovery of the Atocha, none dated earlier than 1625 were known to exist. Archival records documented that in 1620 a military engineer by the name of Don Alonso Turrillo de Yebra had been authorized by King Philip III of Spain to establish a mint in what was then known as the Nuevo Reino de Granada – the New Kingdom of Granada. Documents also revealed that the undertaking, which included a mint in Santa Fe de Bogota and an ancillary one in Cartagena, was fraught with beauracratic complications and delays. Nonetheless, Turrillo persisted, and in a letter to the King he confirms that at some point prior to the sailing of the 1622 fleet he had indeed struck coins, of “much more perfection than that which is styled in some of the other mints,” and he lamented that some of these “were on one of the galleons which were flooded.” Yet the question remained, were coins also struck in Nuevo Reino de Granada in 1621 as some documents seemed to imply? The answer was eventually revealed among recoveries from the Atocha and another ship of the fleet.

Reverse and obverse sides of a partially dated 1621 silver coin, struck at the Cartagena, Colombia mint that went down on the galleon Atocha near Key West, Florida in 1622, and is one of a small group of coins that altered the known numismatic history of Colombia. A December 1-5, 2021 event in Cartagena will celebrate the 400 year anniversary of the opening of that mint. Events recognizing the 400 year anniversary of the Atocha’s sinking will take place in Key West in 2022. (Photo provided by Bill Pearson)

A Cartagena MMXXI conference presentation by Turrillo authority Proctor, titled “Alonso Turrillo – hero or villain?” will address key questions as well as examine some of the shenanigans undertaken over the course of years by the wiley and resourceful “entrepreneur.” Other notable experts from Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Panama, Puerto Rico, Spain, the U.S., and Venezuela will offer a combination of live and virtual presentations as well as book presentations on a variety of historic numismatic themes.

Of particular interest to sunken shipwreck historians and enthusiasts will be updates and discussions on Colombia’s famous San José shipwreck, which was sunk by British Naval forces in 1708, taking hundreds of people and a cargo of New World produced wealth estimated in the billions to a resting place in nearly 2000 feet/600 meters of sea water from Cartagena. Under discussion will be prospects for recovery of the vessel, and establishment of a museum to house and display its artifacts.

For registration and other conference information, including a gala, ceremonies, social events, and a commercial numismatic component for collectors and sellers, visit cartagena2021.com. The website is in Spanish but offers an English translation feature and English language registration guide. English/Spanish translation for all presentations will be provided. Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place for the duration of the conference; scheduling may be subject to change. Attendees are encouraged to check the website regularly for updates. For in-person guests and participants, facemasks and proof of vaccination will be required, and social distancing will be observed.

A painting by Samuel Scott (1702-1772) depicts the destruction in 1708 of the treasure galleon San José off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. Prospects for recovery of the vessel and establishment of a museum to house and display its artifacts is to be one of the topics under discussion at Cartagena MMXXI – the 3rd International Convention of Historians and Numismatists. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

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Press contact: Augi Garcia / prensa@cartagena2020.com

Rare world, shipwreck coins set record Sedwick Auction

26 May

Strong bids for rare world and shipwreck coins surpassed $4.07 million in Daniel Frank Sedwick’s May 7, 8, & 10 Treasure Auction 29. This is a new record for the auction firm and an indicator of a robust market for collectible coins and currency.

The top selling coin in the sale was the single finest Mexico City-struck cob 8 reales Royal dated 1730 that realized $102,000 on a pre-sale estimate of $35,000 and up. A numismatic rarity, the coin has an overdate 1730/28/5 plus the king’s name and ordinal reworked with PHILIPPVS V over LVDOVICS I. It was graded by NGC as AU 58 which is rare among all Spanish colonial Royals as almost all known examples were holed and some even gilded shortly after minting.

The top gold coin sold was a Bogota, Colombia gold 4 escudos dated 1826JF graded NGC MS 64 that realized $72,000. It boasts a pedigree to the Esmeralda Collection, a curated group of some of the finest early post-independence Colombian gold and silver coins, that was sold in the auction along with special NGC labels. This 1826JF 4 escudos also held pedigrees to the famous R.L. Lissner and Eliasberg collections as well.

The Esmeralda Collection also contained the single finest graded “Libertad Americana” Bogota, Colombia silver 8 reales dated 1819JF graded NGC MS 64. This scarce and desirable piece is the first “crown” coin of independent Colombia. A fight amongst several bidders ended with the coin selling for $57,000 on an estimate of $25,000 and up.

“Results for Latin American coins were outstanding and record-breaking,” said Daniel Frank Sedwick, president and founder of the company, “Given low mintages and survival rates, I believe collectors realize that their opportunity to own some of the finest examples may only come that one time during our auction – and they are bidding accordingly.”

It was not just coins that ruled the auction. A 22-1/4 karat Colombian gold bar weighing 358 grams recovered in 1985 by salvager Mel Fisher from the wreck of the Spanish galleon Atocha realized over double its start price to sell for $66,000. A similarly rare and desirable Seville, Spain gold cob 2 escudos graded PCGS AU 58 from the Atocha sold for $39,000 on a $10,000 to $15,000 estimate.

Other top lots in the sale include:

–          A Mexico City, Mexico, silver cob 8 reales Royal dated 1607F graded NGC XF details / holed, ex-Rudman, sold for $54,000.

–          A Segovia, Spain gold milled 8 escudos dated 1721/19F graded NGC AU 58+ and the finest known in the NGC census sold for $54,000.

–          A Mexico City cob 8 reales Royal dated 1714J and graded NGC AU details / environmental damage plus the distinction as the only known Royal 8 reales recovered from the 1715 Fleet sold for $46,500.

–          A Cuzco, Peru, gold cob 1 escudo, dated 1698M and graded NGC AU 58 sold for $45,000.

–          A Potosi, Bolivia, silver cob 2 reales, dated 1733E, with a unique heart design as made, sold for $36,000.

–          A Mexico City, gold cob 8 escudos, dated 1714J, graded NGC MS 62 recovered from a 1715 Fleet shipwreck, ex-Ullian, sold for $34,800.

–          A Lima, Peru, gold cob 8 escudos, dated 1712M, graded NGC MS 62 recovered from a 1715 Fleet shipwreck, sold for $31,200.

–          A Quito, Ecuador, silver 4 reales dated 1844MV-A graded NGC MS 65, finest known in the NGC census, ex-Lissner, sold for $31,200.

–          A United States silver Draped Bust dollar dated 1796 with small date and large letters (Bolender-4) graded NGC VF 30 sold for $7,200.

The auction firm’s next sale will be the Nov. 3-5, 2021 Treasure Auction 30 held live online and in person in Orlando, Florida. Consignments are now being accepted for that auction through August 14th; interested consignors should email the company at office@sedwickcoins.com or call 407.975.3325.

We can travel to you to you or you can consign in person at these upcoming Coin Shows:

  • July 7-10, 2021 FUN Summer Coin Show – Orlando, Florida
  • August 10-14, 2021 ANA World’s Fair of Money, Rosemont, Illinois.

NOW ONLINE! Sedwick’s May 7 – 8 & 10 Treasure Auction 29

21 Apr



Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 29 Live on the Internet, Friday-Saturday, May 7-8 and Monday, May 10

After several months of working with consignors to bring you the best fresh material at realistic levels, we are proud and privileged to present to you our 29th auction. Some would say it is our best ever! Here are some highlights to watch for:

In Gold Cobs, dominated by 1715-Fleet gems as always, we offer a choice (MS 63) Cuzco 2 escudos (lot 36) as well as a very rarely seen Cuzco 1 escudo (lot 37), both dated 1698 for the one year they were made.

In Shipwreck Ingots you will find THREE gold bars from the Atocha (lots 51-53), in addition to silver ingots from the “Tumbaga wreck” (ca. 1528), Atocha (1622) and Maravillas (1656), plus a very rare large ingot (lot 61) from the Santa Margarita (1622) found in 1980. Also be sure to check out the large natural gold specimens dubbed “Golden Coral” (lot 55) and “Golden Fist” (lot 56), from Alaska and California respectively.

In Shipwreck Coins be sure to watch for a PCGS-certified gold 2 escudos (lot 68) from the Atocha, as well as strong selections of choice Concepción (1641), Capitana (1654), 1715 Fleet and Rooswijk (1739) coins. Three $20 “double eagles” from the “Fort Capron Treasure,” S.S. Central America (1857) and S.S. Brother Jonathan (1865), lots 249-251, are worth noting as well.

In Mexico Silver Cobs we feature several Royals (galanos) from the Isaac Rudman Numismatic Cabinet, most notably a 1607 8 reales (lot 279), a unique and choice (unholed AU 58) 1730/28/5 8 reales (lot 287). Shipwreck enthusiasts will be keen to watch lot 285 (dated 1714), the only NGC-certified 8 reales Royal from the 1715 Fleet.
In Lima Silver Cobs and Potosí Silver Cobs we proudly present the Arturo Rosenheim Collection and several great 8 reales Royals, including: Lima 1689 (lot 341) and 1695 (lot 348); Potosí 1630 (lot 423) and 1652 Type V Transitional (lot 449), plus a non-holed, NGC-certified AU 53 1742 (lot 539). We finish Potosí with a unique 2 reales Heart of 1733 assayer E (lot 623).

All other cobs (Colombia, Guatemala, Panama and Spain) are now in the  World Coins section to accommodate several more important collections, namely the Esmeralda Collection of Gran ColombiaCoinage (1819-1830); Part II of theNueva Granada Collection of Colombian Rarities; and Part I of the Antiqua Collection of Guatemalan Cobs. In Colombia we feature several “finest knowns,” including: 4 escudos 1826 (lot 805); “Libertad Americana” 8 reales 1819 (lot 832); and República de Colombia / Nueva Granada mule 8 reales 1820 (lot 834); in addition to many important patterns and other rarities. Also look for trophies in Cuba (lot 937, an MS 70 piefort 100 pesos 1990), Ecuador (lot 956, an NGC MS 65 4 reales of 1844), Guatemala (lot 1037, a gold proof 10 pesos essai of 1894) and Mexico (lot 1042, an NGC-finest 8 escudos of 1750, and lot 1073, an NGC-finest Durango “hookneck” 8 reales of 1824). Finally be sure to witness our largest-to-date selection of Spanish gold coins, featuring this auction’s “Best in Show” Segovia milled 8 escudos 1721/19 (lot 1150).

In Medals and Decorations we feature the latest installment in Selections from the John Adams Collection of Admiral Vernon Medals. Next, in U.S. Coins and Paper Money you will find an NGC VF 30 Draped Bust dollar 1796 (lot 1263). World Paper Money features the first-known República de Costa Rica 100 and 50 colones remainders from the 1917 issuance (lots 1303 and 1304), plus the popular Banco Internacional “La Mandolina” 50 colones of 1916 (lot 1302), as well as a major Guatemalan rarity: the PMG-finest 1934-dated 10 quetzales from the General Orellana series in Choice UNC 63 (lot 1314).

We round out the auction with Ancient Coins and Coin Jewelry, followed by the usual great selection of artifacts. Shipwreck Artifacts features long gold chains from the Atocha (lot 1378) and 1715 Fleet (lot 1394), and in Non-Wreck Artifacts we present all kinds of fossils and firearms. The coveted “final lot” position in the Documents section (lot 1443) goes to an original 1912 newspaper covering the Titanic disaster just five days after the sinking.

After a Sunday to regroup, we finish the auction with a video-off Express session on Monday for all your lower-priced needs from every section. Enjoy!

Here’s wishing everyone good health and happy bidding, and to all our consignors we say many thanks!

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC / Licensed Florida Auctioneer #AU3635, AB2592 (since 2007)
P.O. BOX 1964 | Winter Park, Florida 32790 | Phone: 407.975.3325 | Fax: 407.975.3327

Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 27 Coming Soon!

16 Feb

(pre-registration now open)

We’re starting off 2020 with something new: our first Live Floor Spring Treasure Auction! We’ve heard from consignors and bidders alike about how much they enjoy our Fall Floor Auctions, both for the lively in-person bidding as well as the chance to look at the lots in person. This year’s Spring Treasure Auction will be held April 29-30 at an historic art-based venue: the Germaine Marvel Building* at the Maitland Art Center, just minutes from Orlando, FL. Whether as a consignor or a bidder (or both), please attend and take part in the outstanding opportunities this event offers:

– Lot viewing for all lots the day before and during the live auction

– Live bidding in our state-of-the-art auction room with our popular auctioneer Sal Guttuso

Image result for at the Maitland Art Center is located at

f you need assistance scheduling your trip, please let us know and we will suggest the best options for your needs. Even if you can’t join us live, there are numerous ways for you to bid and participate remotely. Join phone and Internet bidders who will be given our usual expert attention and guidance by our staff.  Watch live video and audio feeds during the auction so you can see all the bidding action.

Interested in selling your collection or individual pieces? Want to start buying again and receive our announcements and catalogs? Now is a great time to buy or sell thanks to a robust market, our expertise and unwavering integrity in Spanish colonial and shipwreck coinage in over a decade of auctions. Every item in our auction is well researched, cataloged, professionally photographed, and presented in beautiful printed catalogs that become important references. We take auction lots to coin shows around the country for viewing, send out promotional literature, and personally get in touch with important collectors around the world.

Consignment deadline for this auction is February 29.

¡Hablamos su idioma! Our multilingual staff deals with the most important Latin American bidders and buyers in the market. We are able to travel and talk to all our bidders and consignors in Spain and Latin America, which creates a level of comfort that draws even the most cautious participants to our venue.

We offer cash advances for qualified consignments. Many consignors also enjoy being able to trade their proceeds against purchases within the same sale. Our personalized attention makes it possible to accommodate many special needs.

Contact us now to place your items next to these features already consigned to our Auction #27:

The Nueva Granada Collection of Colombian rarities

An extensive date collection of the finest and rarest Lima 8 escudos recovered from the 1715 Fleet

Ingots and artifacts from the Spanish Fleets of 1622 (Atocha and Santa Margarita) and 1715

Large variety of important Spanish colonial cobs and Latin American coins

Come see us at the following shows to consign to this auction or to view auction lots:

– Long Beach Coin & Collectibles Expo in Long Beach, CA, February 20-22: We are walking the show, so please make an appointment to meet with one of us to consign.

     – ANA’s National Money Show in Atlanta, GA, February 27-29: Come see us at our booth #215 to meet a big part of our staff in person to consign.

      – Central States Numismatic Society Show in Schaumburg, IL, April 22-25: Come see us at our booth #1909 to meet a big part of our staff and view lots in person.

Our auctions are known worldwide as the best place to buy and sell the kinds of coins and artifacts you love to collect or sell! We look forward to hearing from you soon to help you with your collecting or selling needs

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC | P.O. Box 1964 | Winter Park, FL 32790 | office@sedwickcoins.comPhone: 407.975.3325 / Fax: 407.975.3327 / Whatsapp14079753325

NGC-certified Cuban gold coins far exceed estimates at auction

7 Nov

Special article contributed by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation

 

Six NGC-certified gold Cuban coins struck in Philadelphia, including two that realized six figures, were among the highlights of an auction held Nov. 2-5 in Orlando, Florida. All far exceeded their pre-auction estimates at the sale by Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC.

 

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Cuba 1915 Specimen 20 Pesos, graded NGC SP 63. Realized: $130,900.

The two top lots in the entire auction were a 1915 Cuba Specimen 20 Pesos, graded NGC SP 63, and a 1915 Cuba Specimen 10 Pesos, graded NGC SP 64. Realizing $130,900 and $107,100, respectively, the coins represent an interesting time in Cuban history.

After a brief time as a US protectorate, Cuba became independent in 1902. Still, the US maintained considerable influence in the island republic for decades, as evidenced by the designer and mint of these gold coins, the first issued by Cuba.

Struck at the Philadelphia Mint, they were designed by US Mint Chief Engraver Charles Barber (famous for the US Barber Dime, Quarter and Half Dollar). The Cuban coins were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 4, 5, 10 and 20 Pesos, and a small number of Proofs were made. It is believed some 24 to 36 of the 10 and 20 Peso issues were struck in Proof, along with 100 each of the 2, 4, and 5 Peso coins. The most common is the 1 Peso issue, with some 140 Proof coins struck.

The 1, 2, 4, 10, and 20 peso coins from this set were clearly something different. They were not exactly Proofs, but also clearly not Mint State coins. It is apparent that these coins were struck with extra pressure in order to bring up the rims, and it is likely that the planchets were also specially prepared. This gave the coin a semi-matte appearance, in comparison to the mirrored fields of the Proof issues.

The top lot in the auction was the Cuba 1915 Specimen 20 Pesos, from this special, unique striking. This coin was from a set of six coins, which included five Specimens and one exceptionally nice Mint State example. While the 20 Pesos was only estimated at $20,000 to $40,000, it sold for an astounding $130,900.

 

1915_Cuba_G10P_SP64_4499455-005_lg2

Cuba 1915 Specimen 10 Pesos, graded NGC SP 64. Realized: $107,100.

Also breaking the six-figure mark was the 10 Peso issue. It is also believed to be unique, and brought $107,100, far higher than its $10,000 to $20,000 estimate. The same collector who purchased the 20 Peso coin bought this one, as well as the other four coins in the set.

In all, the six coins realized $473,025, more than four times their cumulative estimates. Compare this amount with the result of a similarly graded 1915 gold Cuban Proof set (as opposed to specimens) that was sold as a single lot in January 2018 by Heritage Auctions for $180,000, and you can see that the set in the Sedwick sale is in a league of its own.

The remaining four Cuban coins were among the other NGC-graded highlights from the sale:

“We were very pleased with the results on NGC-certified coins, which are becoming a bigger part of our offerings with every auction,” said Daniel Sedwick, president and founder of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC.

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