Description:This is a genuine silver luigino coin recovered from the “Gela Shipwreck” which occurred 12 miles southeast of Gela, Sicily in 1667. This merchantman ship was sailing through the Mediterranean Sea from Spain. The ship had stopped in Northern Italy, before sailing towards the Arab lands of the Near East, when it met its unlucky fate and sank off of the south coast of Sicily, Italy. Much of the silver treasure that was recovered from this shipwreck, were Spanish cob coins along with Italian silver luiginos.
This 1666 silver luigino was minted in Tassarolo in Northern Italy. The obverse features a crowned coat of arms and the reverse side shows the very baroque bust of Livia Centurioni Oltremarini, wife of Count Filippo Spinola. Their castle at Tassarolo was once a State of its own, with its own mint and its own economy. For many centuries, the Spinola family used these fortifications to control the only road between the Republic of Genova and continental Europe. Enormous sums where collected, and from this income the Spinola family financed various enterprises and expeditions. Christopher Columbus was in the employ of the Spinola Company in Lisbon, and the family contributed half of the financing for his voyage of discovery to the Americas.