Description:This 1724 hand struck gold ducat was salvaged from the Akerendam shipwreck. The obverse side depicts a knight standing in armor with a sword in right hand and a bundle of arrows in the left. The legend translates to "Through concord little things grow - Holland" (Union is strength). The reverse, within the ornamental square, shows the Latin legend translated as "Coin of government of the provincial federation of Belgium conforming with the law of the Imperial."
The Akerendam, a newly built vessel, set sail from the island of Texel in the Netherlands on January 19, 1725. She was a part of a Dutch merchant fleet in route for Batavia, Indonesia loaded with treasure to be used for the spice trade in the Far East. The Akerendam was soon caught in a violent storm in the North Sea and sank off the north side of the island of Runde, Norway. The entire crew of 200 souls were lost at sea. The wreck site was close to the shore and the inhabitants of Runde soon started to find parts of the ship and its drowned crew washing up along the coast.
During the following summer of 1725, four chests and other cargo were salvaged, but then the divers gave up and the wreck was forgotten. The wreck was re-discovered in 1972 by sport divers from Sweden and Norway, who found the sand bottom littered with encrusted coins. Little remained of the ship, but 57,000 coins were found; 6,600 of them being gold coins, mostly the extremely rare 1724 Dutch gold ducat minted in Utrecht, with only a handful known prior to this find.