Items for Sale

Shipwreck El Cazador Mexico 2 Reales Sunk 1784

We are offering here ONE silver two reales 18th century coin which came from the bottom of the Caribbean, minted in Mexico by the Colonial Spanish.

The story of the Brigadine of War Spanish ship EL CAZADOR (The Hunter) that sunk while carrying a massive load of recently minted silver from the mint at Mexico City to the port of New Orleans made headlines when the shipwreck was discovered in 1993.

It is impossible to prove much about the shipwreck, but folks like the Franklin Mint and QVC Television have certainly joined others in puffing up the story such that you'd think we'd have a new Pirates of the Caribbean film based on it pretty soon. The discovery is factual and exciting, but we don't know of any sordid or bloody stories about the sinking.

We do know that the ship carried more than a half million coins and possibly a half million total pesos in coinage from Mexico City, loaded on the ship for a winter sailing to the port of New Orleans, all while the new United States was at war with England for our Independence.

The ship disappeared and no one ever claimed it was attacked or hijacked, but no trace was ever found. The assumption is that winter rough seas took the ship and its entire crew (and the silver fortune) to the bottom. It wasn't until 1993 that a fisherman was distraught in bringing up a net of heavy garbage (he thought) instead of fish. It turned out that the garbage was a net full of silver coins. It's fair to say that major players such as Mel Fisher's Company of Otacha fame and folks with deep pockets swarmed the scene, made the fisherman an offer he couldn't refuse and began jockeying for the right to bring the coins to market.

We thought you would appreciate the sales pitch made by the biggest buyer (and then seller) of these coins from the El Cazador, The Franklin Mint, which sold most of its hoard via QVC Television. We're just sorry we missed the opportunity to overpay by hundreds of dollars in that event!

The Franklin Mint told customers they could "Own a cluster of four or five silver coins recovered from the El Cazador shipwreck. This true treasure find is presented in original condition having spent over 200 years on the ocean floor. The coins have not been disturbed or cleaned. The Franklin Mint—proud steward of history's greatest milestones and treasures—brings you the amazing story of El Cazador and how she dramatically changed the course of U.S. history. Claim a piece of El Cazador's treasure today."

The Franklin Mint delivered the cluster of 4–5 coins in a nice wooden "treasure chest" for only $1,395!!! Not bad if you want to pay a thousand dollars for a nice facsimile tiny wooden treasure chest.

We did some research and found that other well-known outlets offered a single silver piece for "only" $195; you could have purchased one in a gold bezel for $400–$600 and we won't go into the value of that!

The coins are a wonderful piece of history and many have speculated that the lost ship directly impacted the history of the U.S. Spain was losing its grip on the massive western hemisphere colonial empire and its economy was shaky. The newly minted ship of silver was intended to help stabilize the American colonies; that didn't happen, at least in part because this silver shipment was lost, and Spain ended up ceding the territory known as Louisiana to France, and of course, Napoleon with his own financial woes a few years later, sold the territory to the United States. Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of our country, stretched our holdings from the Mississippi all the way to the Pacific, then sent Lewis & Clark to map and explore the western half of the continent.

Just how much the lost ship contributed to the U.S. obtaining Louisiana is speculation, but we do know it was lost—and discovered 200+ years later—and now it's tough to find examples of known coins from the discovery of the El Cazador. These are guaranteed to have come from the shipwreck and the provenance goes back to a major U.S. auction firm which handled these coins several years ago—exclusive of the overpriced ones sold on television and elsewhere.

The History Bank has purchased and resold recovered treasure coins a few times and to be honest, we're always a bit late because we have no financial clout to jump in and purchase a bag of hundreds or thousands of coins. We were fortunate enough many years ago to win a single lot of French treasure coins from the Atlantic and wished for many years we had a second similar opportunity. Now we have been lucky to find a tiny group of El Cazador two reales silver pieces salvaged from the shipwreck.

The group is shown in the scan here and we will select a representative coin from the group to ship to the purchaser. No surprises as you can see what they all look like.

Thanks very much for looking, and we did fail to note in this text that the coin is neither $1,395 nor $195. You can purchase a single coin now for just $69.

A great combination of silver and nice U.S. numismatic coins.

This is a 10-coin lot of 1940-1945 uncirculated Mercury dimes. There may be a scattered mint mark here, but mostly these are Philly mint dimes and between '40 and '45 and nice unc pieces. One price, ten coins, $1.00 face value.


Absolutely Amazing Uncirculated 1762 English 3 Pence.

This little silver piece is bright and well struck and looks as though it just came out of a museum collection after spending the last 248 years in a showcase. Nearly so, it was in a collection for the last few years and we're pretty sure it was in a whole long list of collections prior to that. Should retail for $150+.

Specially Priced at $90.00

All shipping charges will be calculated based on destination, item size and shipping method. All shipping is per package, never per item. Items marked with an asterisk * can be shipped First Class in a properly padded envelope or box for a flat $3.00. Insurance is available for an additional charge.

To Order or Inquire about items listed here, please contact Norm Bolotin at or toll-free 1-877-585-8818.

For Sale

Antiquities, Artifacts & Ancient Coins

Tokens and Medals

Americana/World's Fairs

Natural History

U.S. Error Coins

U.S. & World Coins

Vintage & Modern Disney

U.S. Civil War



© 2010 The History Bank