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El Cazador Colonial 1/2 Reale - Portrait - NGC Genuine

El Cazador Colonial 1/2 Reale-Portrait-NGC Genuine


 
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Real-life shipwreck silver!
NGC Certified Authentic 'El Cazador' Half-Reale Treasures

While at a recent coin show, we came across a small hoard of something truly special that everyone at one time hoped they would find as a kid: real-life Sunken Treasure! It was quite a find -- a number of Silver Spanish 1/2 Reale coins that had been certified by NGC to be authentic pieces of silver recovered from the iconic 'El Cazador' Shipwreck.

The Original Americas Silver 'Dollar' -- the Spanish 8-Reale

The silver dollar has been a staple of world commerce for as long as we can remember, and it all started with the Silver Spanish Reale coins. They were the dominant silver pieces that circulated in the New World during the time of the revolution, alongside the Dutch Ducat and German Thaller. This meant these coins were the very lifeblood of our colonial economy that would eventually grow to become the United States of America.

The Spanish 8-Reale, or as a Piece of Eight when divided, was produced by the Spanish Empire and is considered to be the first silver 'dollar' circulated and in-use in the ‘New World’ (The Americas and Caribbean). In fact, if you check out your Official Red-Book, you will see that this silver piece is literally the first coin shown! The Spanish Reale was so well respected internationally that when the United States created their very own silver dollar, it was the Spanish 8-Reale that they based their design on.

Did you know? At one time in the United States of America, the Spanish Reale coins were perfectly legal tender. Believe it or not, these coins were used daily by thousands of Americans until the Coinage Act of 1857 put an end to the practice.

A Real-Life Shipwreck Treasure Discovery
The ‘El Cazador’ Hoard of Sunken Silver

The ‘El Cazador’ (‘The Hunter’ translated into English) was a majestic Brig of War loaded with treasure bound for the port of New Orleans that would never arrive at its destination. The ship and its 450,000 silver pieces vanished without a trace in 1784, and in doing so changed the world.

The treasure onboard was intended to strengthen the Spanish Empire’s foothold in the Louisiana Territory -- paper money was faltering, so the king sent silver to replace it. Without the ‘El Cazador’ and its treasure, Spain would lose its hold on the region and it would eventually end up in the Louisiana Purchase just three years later.

209 years later, a small trawler called ‘Mistake’ had its net hit a snag -- and when they hoisted their find, they were shocked to see it was hundreds of silver coins!

This 1993 find was finally appraised and certified in 2005, with each piece being inspected and confirmed by the expert graders to be ‘Certified Authentic’ (the highest grade known from the ‘El Cazador’ shipwreck).



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