Commemorative Coin Sets
NUESTRA SENORA del CARMEN


"Rio Mar Wreck-site"


Lat. 27  38.25'N Long.   80 20.50'W

Don Antonio de Echeverz y Zubiza selected the largest and best of the Galeone fleet as his Capitana, the "Carmen'.' She was 713 tons in ball~st and carried 72 cannon, all iron. It was a formidable size vessel in 1715, and fairly new. Echeverz' fleet were all privately owned vessels, issued contracts by the king to pickup the treasures in South America and return with them to Ca' diz. The trip was very speculative because of the weather factor and Spain seemed always at war with someone so the privateers in the Caribbean were on the prowl, but each vessel could make several times its own value on a single trip. The trade for porcelain and spices from the Far East, and for the native cocoa, brazilwood, hides and tobacco were in heavy demand in Europe and commanded a high price. The arrival of the fleet in Cartagena was always a great event and began a trade fair that would last several months. While the fair was in progress Echeverz dispatched a boat to Porto Bello to advise that the fleet was in and to start the shipment of Peru gold and silver over the Isthmus. Runners also made the trip to Lima to start the mule packs down the mountains with the gold and silver coins and bullion from the mint there. Also there were pearls to be collected from the divers on the island of Margarita. In total the registered treasure on the manifest listed as follows:

79,967 pesos in gold bars and doubloons
309 castellanos of gold dust
1,175 pesos of plata doble
3 gold chains
7,766 pounds of cocoa
33,600 pounds of brazilwood
dry goods and hides

    From Cartagena the fleet moved to Porto Bello where they remained through the winter months. Then, laden with treasure and merchandise the ships traveled to Havana to await General Ubilla's Nueva Espafia fleet that had treasured up in Vera Cruz. So far the journey had been uneventful for Echeverz, but now the fleet was

 

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References

"Sunken Treasure On Florida Reefs,"  by Robert "Frogfoot" Weller

For additional information see:  "Galleon Hunt,"  "Shipwrecks Near Wabasso Beach,"  "Salvaging Spanish Sunken Treasure,"  "Famous Shipwrecks of the Florida Keys."  by Robert "Frogfoot" Weller

 

1715 Fleet Spanish Plate Fleet

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 Carmen

 

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