When you're the one recovering the coins, you keep the best for yourself In 1743, the Princess Louisa -- a three-mast, two-decker merchant vessel -- sank off the coast of the Cape Verde Islands carrying 20 chests filled with nearly 70,000 ounces of Spanish silver coinage on board.
Recovered more than 225 years later, the coins quickly disappeared into private collections, but the Chief Salvor kept some of the very best treasures for himself…
By all accounts, the Princess Louisa was a well-crafted, beautiful ship. Built in 1733 for the East India Company, the vessel had 30 guns and took its name from the youngest daughter of King George II -- a young girl of eight who would go on to become Queen of Denmark.
After three voyages, with stops in Aruba, Bombay, Madras and Calcutta, the Princess Louisa set sail on her final, ill-fated journey.
The Princess Louisa and its sailing partner for the voyage, the Winchester, left Portsmouth on March 20, 1743 on route to Bombay. On April 17, four weeks into their voyage, the ships reached the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. They encountered rough waters, but decided to carry on sailing into the dark through the rough and turbulent seas.
Around 1 a.m., the Winchester caught sight of the Princess Louisa’s guns firing into the night -- the signal for danger. A reef had caught the Louisa's hull and was holding her fast as the heavy waves continued to crash up and over the deck of the ship. Eventually, the ship broke apart, taking its contents and 74 of the ship's 115 crew into the watery depths.
Learning of the dangerous conditions, the East India Company decided not to attempt a salvage. It would be over 225 years before the sunken treasure of the Princess Louisa would be recovered.
When the recovery did take place in 1998 and 1999, the Chief Salvor kept for himself a private stash of better quality pieces from the ship. These pieces included shield-type Spanish Silver Cobs, struck with an estimated date range of 1556 to 1731. Crudely struck by hand, no two of these cross-bearing "pieces of eight" coins are alike!
When the recovered treasure of the Princess Louisa shipwreck first entered the market, they were quickly snatched up by private collectors. For 20 years, the secondary market has been entirely devoid of these coins, both for sale or auction. Now you can finally get your hands on coins from this famous shipwreck -- and not just any coins, but some of the best of the pieces that were recovered!
Multiple sets configurations of coins from this private collection are available, and all come certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) as authentic shipwreck coins from the Princess Louisa salvage. In addition, these coins have been exclusively pedigreed as "Salvor's Reserve Collection", certifying them as part of this exclusive hoard.
As you might imagine, this special collection is incredibly limited. Of the coins recovered from the Princess Louisa, only a relatively small number will ever be certified by NGC as coming from the "Savlor's Reserve Collection." Again, it has been 20 years since any coins from this shipwreck have been available on the market, and these come from the Chief Salvor's private collection!
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