1743/2 Mexico 8 Reales Pillar Dollar From The Reijgersdaal Shipwreck
Item #CC-0456 | 1743/2 Mexico 8 Reales Pillar Dollar From The Reijgersdaal Shipwreck
Assayer: “MF” – Manuel de Leon & Francisco de la Pena y Flores
Date: 1743/2 (overdate)
Ruler/Period: King Philip V
Grade: NGC AU Details
For more details on this coin from the NGC database, click here 2904028-001
Description: This well-preserved Spanish 8 reales Pillar dollar is in superb condition, especially considering it remained in the ocean for over 250 years! The obverse still displays much of its original mint luster, crisp details, and a halo of beautiful toning around the perimeter edges. The overall eye appeal of this coin is superb. This coin also comes with its original blue velvet lined presentation box.
About the Reijgersdaal
Built in Amsterdam in 1738, the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC) Reijgersdaal was an armed merchant vessel that made four successful voyages between Europe and the East Indies to trade in spices, cloth and other exotic materials. Indiamen vessels typically carried both passengers and goods, and were armed with an array of cannons to defend themselves against pirates.
The Sinking of the Reijgersdaal
On May 31st, 1747, the Reijgersdaal, captained by Captain Jan Blandt, set-off from Texel in the Netherlands with a crew of 297. After being at sea for 4 1/2 months, the Reijgersdaal anchored off Cape Town to acquire provisions. Up until this point, 125 men died during the voyage and most of the remaining crew were sick or very weak. Given that so few able-bodied men well enough to sail the ship, this was a recipe for disaster.
On October 25th, 1747 a severe storm developed, which caused the anchor rope to brake and the ship was set adrift. Captain Blandt was quickly brought from his sickbed to command the deck, but it was too late as breaking surf was seen directly ahead of the ship. Moments later, the Reijgersdaal crashed into the rocks.
A small boat was put overboard around 10:00 on the morning and fourteen of the crewmen went into the boat with a sounding line to see whether it was possible to go to shore through the high seas and heavy surf. The aim was to use the line to save the crew that was still on the ship. However, looking back at the Reijgersdaal they saw that the ship had been beaten and shattered, and nothing could be done to save the others on board. The ship sank on a rocky point known as Silwerstroom Point, roughly half-way between Cape Town and Dassen Island. Altogether only 20 of the 297 people on board survived.
The wreck of the Reijgersdaal dimmed into history until a group of treasure hunters discovered the account of the disaster recorded by the crew’s survivors. The account stated that one of the money chests, containing four bags of silver, had been recovered on the beach at the time of the wreck. With this clue, in mid-1979, treasure hunters recovered several thousand Pillar Dollars minted by Spain in the New World between 1732 and 1744.
This beautiful and rare coin has a fascinating history and is a perfect piece for any collection of shipwreck treasure!
For more information on Dutch East Indiamen shipwrecks, visit: https://www.maarer.com/voc-shipwrecks.html