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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » December 3, 2008
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Treasure From The Sea
December 3, 2008   
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A collection of 17th-century coins recovered from the wreckage of a legendary Spanish treasure ship is being offered for sale to Polish collectors. The collection was unveiled Nov. 19 in Warsaw by its official distributor, Skarbnica Narodowa, a company from the Netherlands-based Samlerhuset Group, a distributor of coins and other related collectibles. The Polish premiere was attended by Count Nikolaus Sandizel, who oversaw the recovery and participated in locating the treasure.

The Sao Jose treasure ship was sunk in 1622 by the Dutch and British fleets in the Mozambique Canal, while on a mission for Philip III, king of Spain and Portugal. On board was Francisco da Gama, great-grandson of the famous explorer Vasco da Gama. The ship was on a mission to deliver an imposing cargo of silver coins to Goa in India. The cargo consisted of nine cases filled with thousands of silver coins called reals, minted in both the New and Old World.

Arqueonautas Worldwide, a portuguese marine archaelogy company, located the wreckage of the Sao Jose in 2005 and recovered 24,000 silver coins from its hold, 6,900 of which have value for collectioners and have been graded and certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).

Skarbnica Narodowa is putting up 555 of these coins for sale in Poland at prices ranging between zl.1,200 and zl.6,000, depending on their condition, the better conserved ones having a greater value.MR
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