Captain Sam Bellamy and the Whydah: The Fateful Decisions that Brought Spanish 1715-Fleet Treasure to the Shores of Cape Cod

19 Oct

By Daniel Frank Sedwick


Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy

Born in England in 1689, Samuel Bellamy became a sailor early in life and fought for the Royal Navy during Queen Anne’s War (War of Spanish Succession). Like so many other sailors, he was at loose ends after the war, so he decided to go to Cape Cod, probably to seek employment, in the spring of 1715. In July of that same year, the Spanish lost an immeasurable fortune in the 1715 Fleet disaster, wherein many thousands of coins and ingots from Mexico, Peru and Colombia went to the reefs and shores of eastern Florida in a hurricane. Such news was irresistible to an unemployed but experienced sailor like Bellamy, who soon formed a group of fellow adventurers to seek their fortunes chasing the treasures of the 1715 Fleet. This was his Fateful Decision #1.


After the sinking of the Spanish 1715 Fleet on July 31, the survivors sent longboats to St. Augustine and Havana to obtain relief. Just two weeks later the Spanish launched a rescue and salvage operation that continued into the year 1718. Without proper defenses, however, the salvage sites were sitting ducks for fortune-seekers, and news quickly spread to the two biggest Caribbean privateers of that time, Henry Jennings of Jamaica and Benjamin Hornigold of the Bahamas. It was not long before both of these famous pirates met Sam Bellamy.



The red X marks the resting place of the Whydah.

Bellamy, along with his chief financial backer and second-in-command, the New Englander Paulsgrave Williams, arrived on the east coast of Florida to find that the Spanish had already begun salvage work and the treasure was not simply there for the taking as they had thought. The easy stuff was already salvaged by the Spaniards and being guarded onshore. Enter the pirates: After the news reached Jamaica in November, the English privateers Henry Jennings and John Wills sped to Florida and raided the salvage camps to come away with a reported 120,000 pesos in treasure. This vast fortune caused quite a stir back in Jamaica and launched a political battle between England and Spain that in effect gave rise to unabashed piracy based in the Bahamas, where eventually the King had no choice but to grant a general pardon in 1718 for any pirates who turned themselves in.


Sam Bellamy, meanwhile, faced having to return to New England empty-handed and answer to the investors who financed his salvaging venture, or instead turn to piracy. This was his Fateful Decision #2, and it brought him and his men to the Central American coast, where they exchanged their salvage vessel for two smaller and much faster boats known as periaguas (like huge canoes but capable of handling the seas). For several months they plundered ships off the Mosquito Coast, adding to their crew along the way. While heading to the better target of Cuba, Bellamy encountered the likes of Henry Jennings, fresh off his return to Jamaica with the 1715-Fleet loot. The timing was right for this veteran privateer to become Bellamy’s first pirate mentor. Together they attacked Baya Hondo, on the north coast of Cuba, on April 3, 1716, overpowering a French ship and taking its 28,500-peso windfall in the form of what were no doubt 1715-Fleet coins, which the Spanish in Cuba had just traded for illicit goods from the French. Word of another rich French vessel to the east attracted Jennings’ attention, although his scouts soon found that his rival Benjamin Hornigold had beaten him to it. The over-confident Jennings decided to go after Hornigold, and in a severe lapse of judgment, he left Bellamy with the loot in Baya Hondo. Now known as “Black Sam,” Bellamy took the treasure and ran, which was his Fateful Decision #3.


Jennings did not find Hornigold, but somehow Bellamy did, with a different purpose. Hornigold was not just famous for privateering but also for mentoring other buccaneers, most prominently Edward Teach, better known as “Blackbeard,” who was Hornigold’s second-in-command by the time they met Bellamy. Hornigold loved the fact that Bellamy had tricked Jennings, and he gave his new student the sloop Marianne. Throughout the summer of 1716, the pirate flotilla carried out successful raids, but increasingly the pirates grew tired of Hornigold’s policy of not taking British ships or cargo. During a careening stop, it was decided that Black Sam Bellamy would be the new master, and Hornigold, along with his protégé Blackbeard, was sent packing. (As a side note, Hornigold soon retired from piracy, taking advantage of the aforementioned pardon in the Bahamas in 1718, while Blackbeard continued his adventures in one of his prizes, which he named Queen Anne’s Revenge, later lost off the coast of North Carolina in 1718, and was killed by the British Navy in November of that same year.)



Closeup of the Whydah’s bell.

Bellamy, still in the Marianne, proceeded to ransack the Caribbean, taking over 50 ships along the way in a very short amount of time. In December of 1716, off Guadeloupe, Black Sam captured the ship Sultana, made her his new flagship, and installed his second-in-command Williams as captain of the Marianne. In February of 1717, somewhere between Cuba and Haiti, the pirates spotted a new, 300-ton slave galley and chased it for three days before finally taking her without a fight. Her name was Whydah, and she was on the homeward journey after just having exchanged her cargo of slaves for what again had to be Spanish coins from the 1715 Fleet. Bellamy and his men counted the treasure on board—20,000 to 30,000 pounds sterling in value—and divided it into 180 shares, one for each of the 180 pirates in the crew. Also divided were bags of gold from Africa, including gold dust and Akan gold jewelry, and reportedly East Indian jewelry as well. With all this treasure, and considering her newness and agility, Bellamy decided to make Whydah his new flagship and container for all the pirate loot, amounting to some four-and-a-half tons of silver and gold divided into 180 shares, not to mention other goods and an arsenal of cannons. In return for not resisting, Bellamy graciously allowed the former captain of the Whydah to sail away on the Sultana, leaving Bellamy and his pirates with just the Whydah and the Marianne.


For whatever reason—be it the needs of a New England carpenter to return to his family, or the objective of starting a new “pirate kingdom,” or simply to make repairs, Bellamy steered the Whydah and Marianne up the east coast and northward to the faraway shores of Maine. Even though each of his 180 pirates now had more wealth to his name than a typical lifetime of earnings for an honest man of that age, the captures did not stop, and the convoy added two more ships, the Mary Anne, which provided the gleeful pirates with a cargo of fine Madeira wine, and the small sloop Fisher, which gave them the benefit of a local navigator in the foggy and treacherous waters of the northeast (the fate of the Marianne at this point is unknown). Drunk from the wine and feeling confident in his ability to safely navigate, Bellamy made his Fateful Decision #4, which would be his last: The ships steered toward Cape Cod.


The historical record does not specify that Bellamy intended to stop at Provincetown at the northern tip of the Cape, but the fact is that he turned his ships that way when he should have turned more to the east if he was still headed to Maine. Romantics believe the reason for the return to Cape Cod—ignoring the risks of capture and prosecution—was a woman. Her name was Maria Hallett. Sam Bellamy met her by accident just before he left for the Florida coast in 1715, and the two fell in love immediately. Upon his departure, Bellamy told her he would return with vast treasures, marry her and start a new life with her as prince and princess of some island in the West Indies. Some even say she was pregnant when he left, and bore Bellamy’s son in his absence, only to have that son die under mysterious circumstances, all without Bellamy’s knowledge. It is hard to see Bellamy’s navigation toward Cape Cod on that fateful April night—and indeed the entire northward trek—as less than an attempt to see his beloved. Naturally the story continues with Hallett watching from the shore as the Whydah went down, and of course pining for Bellamy forever after. But as with any good love story, the facts have commingled with fictitious romance, and we will probably never know the truth behind Bellamy’s final fateful decision to steer toward Cape Cod and lose everything.


What Bellamy did not know, however, was that a storm was bearing down on the three ships and soon would wreck them all in the shallow sands off Cape Cod. For various reasons, most of the pirates and their captured artisans survived from the other ships, but only two aboard the Whydah lived to tell their tale. The pirates were soon captured and tried for piracy. These trials, in fact, provide many details about Bellamy and the Whydah that we would not know otherwise. In the end, each of the condemned pirates was goaded into penitence by the famous Puritan minister Cotton Mather before execution. Whether dying on the wreck or on the gallows, each pirate missed out on the general pardon of 1718 by just a few months.


The next famous figure in this story is Captain Cyprian Southack, the Boston official responsible for retrieving as much of the wreckage as possible. By his account, the Whydah lay in 13 feet of water just 500 feet from shore—but the cold water and poor conditions made it impossible to dive the wreck, not to mention the fact that the ship had capsized and sank into the sand upside-down, with all the treasure therefore buried deep below the ballast and cannons and everything else. His efforts to recover washed-ashore parts of the ship were rebuffed by the beachcombing locals, and he even got stuck with the bill for burying all the dead pirates.



Examples of treasure recovered from the Whydah wreck site.

But Southack was an expert cartographer, and it was his data that made it possible for the Whydah to be found in modern times by Barry Clifford, whose sleuthing pinpointed the wreck site at more like 20 feet of depth an additional 1000 from the coast, due to erosion and rising sea levels that had even sunk a nearby town that Southack had used for reference. Clifford’s efforts were roundly criticized by the archeological community until his team recovered a large bronze bell with the actual name of the ship on it. Since then, Clifford and his team have recovered 48 cannons (plus twelve more still on site) and literally tons of treasure, including around 15,000 silver coins and hundreds of small pieces of Akan gold, with hundreds more still encased in yet-to-be conserved concretions—but the “mother lode” at the bottom has yet to be reached.


It is staggering to think of what riches from the 1715 fleet are yet to be found on the Whydah—intriguingly, there are gaps in dates and types of coins recovered from the 1715 Fleet in modern times that the Whydah instead could account for. Already we have seen among the Whydah recoveries many silver coins from the mints of Lima and Potosi that are scarcely represented in the 1715-Fleet finds of modern times. In gold coins from the Whydah we might expect to see Lima gold cobs of the year 1714, which are rare from the 1715 Fleet (not to mention the controversial date 1715, which may or may not have been possible from the 1715 Fleet for Lima). Most tantalizing of all are the hundreds of Mexican gold “Royals” (round presentation pieces) that are mentioned in contemporary documents but that exist only in small numbers so far from the 1715 Fleet recoveries. Barry Clifford and his company continue to search and salvage the Whydah site. When—not if—they find the “mother lode,” it will be a new day for the collectors and researchers of 1715-Fleet coins!

Want to see (and possibly own) two coins recovered from the Whydah? Check out lots 568 and 569 in our Nov. 2-3 Treasure Auction 24 HERE.


Clifford, Barry (with Peter Turchi). The Pirate Prince: Discovering the Priceless Treasures of the Sunken Ship Whydah. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.

Clifford, Barry (with Paul Perry). Expedition Whydah: The Story of the World’s First Excavation of a Pirate Treasure Ship and the Man Who Found Her. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.

NGC and PMG-graded highlights in Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 24

17 Oct

Many rare and, in some cases, unique NGC-graded coins and PMG-graded notes are up for bidding in Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 24 to be held on Nov. 2-3, 2018. The floor auction will take place live in Orlando, Florida and online at with an internet-only session to follow on Nov. 5.

NGC-graded coins

PMG-graded notes

Bidding on the above lots is open from now until the lots hammer down during the Nov. 2-3 sale. Bidders interested in viewing the lots in person can see them Oct. 25-28 at booth #1137 during the Whitman Baltimore coin show. Lots will also be available for viewing at the auction site Nov. 1-3. For more information regarding the auction, please visit

Ultra rarities up for bid in Sedwick’s November sale

21 Sep

How do you price ultra rare coins? Bidders will soon find out Nov. 2-3 when a unique set of 1915-dated Cuban specimen gold pesos come up for sale in Daniel Frank Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 24.

The Cuban gold set is made of all six denominations (1, 2, 4, 5, 10 and 20 pesos) struck in 1915 by the Philadelphia mint on behalf of the then fairly new Republic of Cuba. The coins were all designed by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Charles Barber. What makes the set rare is the fact that five of the six coins are recognized by NGC as specimen strikes. To date, no other specimens for those denominations are known.


This unique Cuban 1915 gold 20 pesos, estimated at $20,000 and up, is one of six specially struck coins in the set.

The only outlier to the set is the 5 pesos which, while not having the specimen surfaces the other coins possess, was clearly well struck and specially handled. NGC graded the coin MS 66+, the finest known in both the NGC and PCGS censuses. Other NGC grades for the set range from SP 63 (20 pesos), SP 64 (4 and 10 pesos), SP 66 (1 and 2 pesos). Estimates for the coins range from $2,000 and up for the 1 peso up to $20,000 and up for the 20 pesos. The set will appear in the auction as lots 146 to 151. Final bids for the set will hammer down Nov. 2 with bidding available live at

“Having this set in the auction really speaks to the strong market behind Latin American coins,” said president and company founder Daniel Sedwick. “It’s anyone’s guess as to where the final bids will end up but we’re expecting heavy interest from many experts and collectors.”

Another top lot in the sale is lot 5, a specially struck, 1715-dated Mexico gold cob 8 escudos recovered from the 1715 Fleet and graded NGC MS 64. The coin exhibits an even, round planchet and a clear date, shield and crown. Upon manufacture, it was put aboard a ship in the ill-fated 1715 Fleet, which sank off Florida’s east coast on July 31, 1715. This coin was then lost for almost 250 years before being recovered by the Real Eight Company and featured in the Schulman auction of November 1972. In Sedwick’s auction, the estimate on the coin is $35,000 to $50,000.


After being carefully prepared by the Mexico City Mint, this 1715 gold cob 8 escudos was lost aboard the 1715 Fleet for almost 250 years.

A much earlier Mexican coin expected to draw much attention is lot 664, a Mexico City-minted Charles-Joanna assayer Rincón silver 3 reales, with waves, graded NGC VF 30. The coin was struck around 1536 to 1538, making it one the earliest coins minted in the Americas. In addition to its history and choice grade, it boasts a pedigree to the Isaac Rudman collection. The estimate on the coin is $35,000 and up.


This choice Mexico City-minted Charles-Joanna 3 reales, struck around 1536-1538, is one of the earliest coins minted in the Americas.

Other top lots include:

  • Lot 206: a Cuzco, Peru, gold 8 escudos, 1837BA, FEDERACION type, graded NGC MS 64+ Prooflike, finest known in both NGC and PCGS censuses, estimated at $35,000 to $50,000.

NGC graded this Cuzco, Peru, 1837-dated 8 escudos as MS 64+ Prooflike because of its lustrous and reflective surfaces.

  • Lots 256 and 257: two large silver bars (one 83 pounds, 2.3 troy ounces and the other 81 pounds, 6.56 troy ounces) recovered by Mel Fisher from the Atocha, sunk in 1622 off the Florida Keys, estimated at $30,000 to $45,000 each.
  • Lot 20: a Lima, Peru, gold cob 8 escudos dated 1701H, graded PCGS MS62 and recovered from the 1715 Fleet as well as pedigreed to the John Pullin collection, estimated at $20,000 and up.
  • Lot 247: a gold “finger” bar weighing 466 grams from the “Golden Fleece” wreck, sunk ca. 1550, estimated at $20,000 and up.
  • Lot 568: a Mexico City-minted cob 8 reales fully dated 1715(J) recovered from the pirate ship Whydah, sunk in 1717 off Cape Cod, Massachusetts by salvager Barry Clifford, estimated at $10,000 and up. Barry Clifford, who discovered the ship in 1984, will give a talk on his discovery of the Whydah at the auction site on Nov. 1.

This 1715-dated Mexican cob 8 reales was recovered by Barry Clifford from pirate Captain Sam Bellamy’s Whydah, the only salvaged pirate treasure shipwreck.

  • Lot 638: an 1865-S $20 double eagle recovered from the S. Brother Jonathan, sunk in 1865 off California, and graded PCGS AU58, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000.
  • Lot 1557: a Colombia, Banco de Panama, 5 pesos (ca. 1869), graded PMG Choice VF 35, the finest graded in the PMG census, estimated at $2,000 to $3,000.

Bidders can register now for the auction at The auction catalog will be available Oct. 9 at For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC at

¿Águila o Sol? The Mexican 20 centavos of 1943-1974

4 Sep

By Connor Falk

The Mexican bronze 20 centavos of 1943 to 1974 is a beautiful coin with a wealth of history in its design. From the Pyramid of the Sun on the reverse to the National Arms on the obverse, the design is attractive and bold. A lustrous, Gem BU example shines with a bright, copper-red color. Also pleasing is a circulated example with surfaces an earthy-brown tone, having served a long time in Mexican commerce.

History of the Bronze 20 Centavos

With the beginning of World War II, Mexico became a primary supplier of silver to the United States of America. Such strong, wartime demand for the metal increased prices and sparked public hoarding and melting of Mexican silver coinage, particularly of the 20 centavos. In addition, the Casa de Moneda (the Mexican Mint in Mexico City) found it difficult to strike enough silver coinage to satisfy public demand.

Even the silver coinage that was issued didn’t circulate well. Reports at the time show many people made do with bronze 1 centavos as well as copper-nickel, then bronze, 5 centavos to replace the 20 centavos. Such a system was cumbersome and could not fully alleviate the 20 centavos shortage. With an economy heavily skewed towards silver coins (upwards of 94% of coins in circulation at the time were silver, the rest being bronze or copper-nickel), an alternative needed to be found to bring back the 20 centavos.

On Aug. 10, 1943, a presidential decree signed by President Manuel Ávila Camacho authorized a new bronze 20 centavos. According to Historia del Banco de México: Volume 3 by Eduardo Díaz (2015), the dies for a bronze, 28.5 mm 20 centavos piece had been made already by engraver Manuel Luna Negrete, assisted by Francisco Rivera Paniagua. Those dies were rapidly put to use. Production began almost immediately on Aug. 19, 1943 using “all the copper they could get.” The Casa de Moneda was soon producing 400,000 20 centavos a day. Total production in 1943 amounted to 46,350,000 bronze 20 centavos compared to a scant 3,955,000 silver 20 centavos.


Reverse of the 1943 20 centavos featuring the Pyramid of the Sun.

The design of the bronze 20 centavos is fully emblematic of Mexico and quite striking. The obverse features the coat of arms of Mexico: an eagle clutching a snake above a cactus, with the legend ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS above. The reverse features the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacán with the city’s name at the pyramid’s base. Beyond the pyramid are the volcanic mountains Ixtaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl; above, the denominator 20 is divided by a liberty cap and embellished with sun rays with the mintmark oM below. In the foreground, two varieties of cactus flank the denomination CENTAVOS and the date. The depiction of an eagle on one side and the Pyramid of the Sun under a sunburst on the other gave rise to the Mexican phrase “¿águila o sol?” (eagle or sun?) in the same way Americans say “heads or tails?”

Some design elements of the bronze 20 centavos reflect earlier Mexican coinage designs. The Phrygian cap and sun rays are nearly identical to those found on the cap-and-rays 8 reales of the 1800s. Similarly, the two mountains Ixtaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl appear prior on the gold 50 pesos of 1921 to present (struck with a frozen date of 1947 since that year) and the 1921 2 pesos. Finally, the coat of arms of Mexico is present on a number of coin designs though styles vary. The closest early depiction to that of the arms found on the bronze 20 centavos would be the “hook neck eagle” of the 1824 silver reales.

The bronze 20 centavos series is marked by three distinct obverse design changes. Type 1 (KM-439), produced from 1943 to 1955, features a small national emblem. Type 2 (KM-440), which began part way through 1955 and continued to 1971, features a larger national emblem with wider spacing between ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS. Type 3 (KM-441), minted in mid-1971 to 1974, features a stylized national emblem that is very different from the previous two reverse designs. Although mintages were split between Types 1 and 2 in 1955 and Types 2 and 3 in 1971, there is no noticeable scarcity in those years for any particular type. No bronze 20 centavos were struck from 1947 to 1950 and in 1961, 1962, and 1972.


Left to Right: Type 1 (1943-55), Type 2 (1955-71), and Type 3 (1971-74).

The end of the bronze 20 centavos denomination is very similar to how it began. By the early 1970s, the price of copper had risen enough to surpass the face value. In mid-1974, the Casa de Moneda ended production of the bronze 20 centavos in favor of a lighter, smaller copper-nickel version.

The Market Today

The market for the bronze 20 centavos is wide open to collectors. Most dates have high mintages in the tens of millions and can be had in Gem Brilliant Uncirculated grades for a few dollars. At the grading services, the majority of graded examples are from lower mintage dates. Such dates include 1951 (11,385,000 struck), 1952 (6,560,000 struck), and 1959 (6,017,000 struck).

All dates are readily available, both raw and in slabs, even in Mint State grades. According to the NGC census as of Aug. 3, 2018, 77 coins (12.9 percent) of all graded bronze 20 centavos are 1951-dated; at PCGS, 27 coins (8.3 percent) are from 1951. For 1952-dated pieces, NGC has seen 131 examples (21.9 percent); at PCGS, 31 coins (9.5 percent). Another 76 coins (12.7 percent) of NGC-graded pieces are from 1959; PCGS reports 27 coins (8.3 percent) for the same date. For those three years at the two grading companies, all slabbed examples received Mint State grades.

Only business strikes are known for the series; no proof strikes were made. There is, however, an interesting mule error known for the 1973 issue. The error pairs the 20 centavos reverse (the pyramid side) with an obverse meant for the 1973 copper-nickel peso. The error is not readily apparent. The size difference is negligible; the 20 centavos has a diameter of 28.5 mm while the peso has a diameter of 29 mm.

Under examination, a few key diagnostics give the mule error away. Most notably, the “T” in ESTADOS on a normal 1973 20 centavos has a top bar that dips down at the ends; the mule has a T with a straight top bar. The “A” in ESTADOS also varies from thick with legs connected at the bottom on the regular issue versus a thinner, open version on the mule. The “I” in UNIDOS stands straight on a regular strike; the mule has an “I” with its top tilted to the left. Lastly, the “M” in MEXICANOS is wide on a regular example; the M appears narrow and bold on a mule.


Regular 1973 20 centavos at left, mule peso obverse at right.

It is unknown how many 1973 20 centavos mule errors were made. At this time, NGC has graded two pieces: one MS 66 Red, the other MS 67 Red. A value on a mule 20 centavos is tough to give at this time. No mules have appeared on the market recently and are unlisted in Krause. Given the large mintage for the year, it is reasonable to think that more are out there.

Another collectible in the series are bronze 20 centavos encapsulated by NGC in commemoration of the 2014 U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association Convention. The coins were donated by the Mexican Coin Company (now World Numismatics) and slabbed for free, then handed out to convention attendees. They can be found in NGC sample slabs with the invoice number 2048221. Dates found in the USMEX slabs are 1957, 1960, and 1973. According to NGC records, 150 sample slabs were made.


An example of a USMEX Convention NGC sample slab containing a 1960 bronze 20 centavos.


The Mexican bronze 20 centavos was a workhorse in commerce for many years. It arrived at a pivotal time for the nation’s coinage, as gold and silver gave way to bronze and other base metals. Beyond its history, each piece also represents an example of Mexican craftsmanship with a design that is a well-executed testament to Mexico’s rich history.

Time to Sell in Sedwick’s next Treasure, World, U.S. Coin & Paper Money Auction

29 Jul


Looking to consign? Contact us today! Email us at or call our office at 407.975.3325 (Consignment deadline August 20, 2018)

Our sixth live floor auction (Treasure, World, U.S. Coins & Paper Money Auction #24) will take place on November 2-3, 2018 at the DoubleTree Suites Hotel at Disney Springs, just minutes from Walt Disney World. We invite you to attend and take part in the outstanding opportunities this event offers, whether as a consignor or a bidder:

  • Educational presentations the day before the auction (November 1) by numismatic and shipwreck experts from around the world, including: Barry Clifford, underwater explorer and discoverer of the pirate treasure ship Whydah (1717); Dr. Kris E. Lane, Tulane University professor of colonial Latin American history and researcher on the colonial history of the Andes, mining, piracy, and global trade; and Emilio M. Ortiz, professional numismatist, researcher and author.
  • Networking with other collectors and dealers at our pre-auction dinner (November 1)
  • Lot viewing for all lots the day before and during the live auction right next to the auction room in the hotel
  • Live bidding in our state-of-the-art auction room

The special room rate will be available until October 9th or until the group block is sold out, whichever comes first. Booking a reservation is simple: Just click here to receive our preferred group rate: “Book a Room

If you prefer to make your reservation by phone, please call 1-800-222-TREE(8733) and specify group code “SED”. Hotel address and details as follows: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Spring Area | 2305 Hotel Plaza | Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, Florida – USA 32830 – Tel: +1-407.934.1000 | Fax: +1-407.934.1015

Interested in selling your collection or individual pieces? Take advantage of this unique opportunity to consign to our Fall Floor Auction. Now is a great time to buy or sell thanks to a robust market, our expertise and integrity in Spanish colonial and shipwreck coinage, and our exhaustive marketing efforts. Every item in our auctions is well researched, cataloged and photographed, and presented in professionally 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.

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

  Contact us now to place your items in our upcoming sale! Here is what we are seeking:

•  Choice and important Spanish colonial cobs from Mexico, Lima and Potosí
•  Collections of Latin American coins, particularly Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru
•  Gold bars and artifacts from the Spanish Fleets of 1622 (Atocha and Santa Margarita)
•  US coins and world paper money

Please come see us at the following show to consign to our auction:
• August 14-18, 2018: ANA World’s Fair of Money (booth #1333), Philadelphia, PA

And at the following shows to view the auction lots:
•  October 11-13, 2018: U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association Convention, Scottsdale, AZ

•  October 25-27, 2018: Whitman Baltimore Winter Expo, Baltimore, MD

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, and we hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows AND in Orlando in November for our live floor auction.

Early American regulated $15 gold coin sells for $152,750

18 May

A unique, early American regulated $15 gold coin marked by Boston goldsmith Joseph Edwards, Jr. drew intense bidding during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, US Coin & Paper Money Auction 23, held online May 15-16, 2018.

The coin’s rarity stems from a small IE countermark on a plug in what was once a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1741V. The NGC slab label denoted the coin’s grade of XF 40 as well as its unique association with Joseph Edwards, Jr. The coin, accompanied by an article on its history and pedigree to the Julius Brown sale of 1911, sold for $152,750 on a $100,000 and up estimate.


Lot 83 – USA, regulated $15, Joseph Edwards plug and countermark (Boston, ca. 1780) on a Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1741V, extremely rare, NGC XF 40, ex-Brown (Chapman, 1911).

Daniel Sedwick, president of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, said the regulated $15 gold coin first appeared on the market in the 1911 sale, where the significance of the regulation mark went unnoticed. The coin sold for just $19 then.

“It was especially rewarding to see an exceptional result on lot 83, the first gold cob 8 escudos known to be regulated to a $15 standard with the mark of Joseph Edwards, Jr,” he said. “A record number of bidders propelled prices to strong levels in many areas, but particularly in gold cobs and shipwreck ingots, our specialties.”

Overall, the auction featured 2,001 lots and realized $1.65 million. All prices listed include a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium.


Lot 18, an NGC-graded MS 62 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1712M from the 1715 Fleet which sank off of the east coast of Florida.

The majority of top-selling gold cobs were those recovered from the 1715 Fleet, which sank off the east coast of Florida. Lot 18, an NGC-graded MS 62 Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos dated 1712M sold for $25,850 on a $12,500 to $20,000 estimate. Another high performer was an NGC-graded MS 61 Mexico City, Mexico, cob 8 escudos dated 1715J (lot 6) that went for $18,800 on a $10,000 to $15,000 estimate.

Shipwreck ingots attracted interest as a trio of Atocha (1622) silver “loaf” bars (lots 243-245) in Class Factors 0.7, 0.9 and 1.0 (the highest quality) sold for $30,000, $32,500, and $48,500 respectively. Another Atocha ingot, a cylindrical “piña” ingot (lot 246), brought in $30,550 while a half-cut gold finger bar (lot 238) from the “Golden Fleece wreck” sold for $31,725.


Lot 243, a Class Factor 1.0 silver bar weighing 88 troy pounds, 3.84 troy ounces found in the Atocha shipwreck.

Agustín García-Barneche, vice president of Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC, was equally enthusiastic for shipwreck coins as well as world gold and silver coins.

“Our spring auction resulted in energetic bidder competition, especially in our Shipwreck and Latin America coin sections,” he said. “We positioned our company in a market that allows us to reach and attract consignors and bidders of Latin American numismatics.”

Latin American coin highlights in the World Gold Coins section included an NGC-graded XF details Costa Rican 8 escudos dated 1828F (lot 152) sold for $10,575 on a $8,000 to $12,000 estimate. In World Silver Coins, a Costa Rican 8 reales with an 1846JB 2-reales counterstamp and a “8” countermark on a Guatemala cob 8 reales (lot 1143) sold for $8,225 on a $7,000 to $10,000 estimate. Another rarity sold was a Mexico City, Mexico, pillar 8 reales dated 1733MF and graded NGC AU 53 (lot 1319) which blazed past its $2,000 to $3,000 estimate to reach $4,406.

Other top lots include:

  • Lot 1, a Mexico City, Mexico cob 8 escudos, undated but with visible assayer’s mark J from the 1715 Fleet graded NGC MS 61 sold for $10,869.
  • Lot 5, a Mexico City, Mexico 1714J cob 8 escudos from the 1715 Fleet graded NGC MS 63 sold for $10,810.
  • Lot 15, a Lima, Peru 1711M cob 8 escudos from the 1715 Fleet sold for $20,562.
  • Lot 194, a Mexico City, Mexico 1823JM Iturbide 8 escudos plated in James Bevill’s book The Paper Republic (2009) sold for $7,050.
  • Lot 242, a silver “tumbaga” bar weighing 2,801 grams from the “Tumbaga” wreck (ca. 1528) sold for $9,400.
  • Lot 466, a large clump of encrusted cob 8 reales weighing 1,266 grams from the 1715 Fleet sold for $6,462.
  • Lot 470, a Mexico City, Mexico cob 4 reales from the Whydah (1717) sold for $13,630.
  • Lot 608, an 1856-S Liberty Head double eagle graded NGC UNC details / sea salvaged from the “Fort Capron treasure” (1857) sold for $3,819.
  • Lot 878, a Potosi, Bolivia 1666E cob 8 reales Royal sold for $10,575.
  • Lot 989, a Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic enriched billon 11 maravedis sold for $8,225.
  • Lot 1568, a San Juan, Puerto Rico, Banco Español 20 pesos specimen (ca. 1889) graded PMG Gem UNC 65 EPQ sold for $1,410.
  • Lot 1599, a small, 7” piece of gold “olive blossom” chain from the 1715 Fleet sold for $4,759.

Full auction results can be viewed online at Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC is accepting consignments for their Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 24 through Aug. 20, 2018. The sale will be held at the Disney Springs Doubletree in Orlando, Florida on Nov. 1-3, 2018. For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC by email at

Sedwick’s Treasure Auction 23 to feature PCGS-graded coins

10 May

A wide variety of rarities graded by PCGS are set to draw heavy bidding during Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC’s Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 23 to be held live online on May 15 and 16, 2018.

PCGS-graded coins


Lot 24: a Lima, Peru, cob 2 escudos, struck during the reign of King Philip V of Spain and lost while en route to Spain while aboard a vessel in the 1715 Fleet.

Bidders can register for the auction at The auction catalog is available at For more details, please contact Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC at

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