Description:Gold escudo coin that was most likely recovered from the 1715 Fleet Spanish Shipwrecks off Florida. This rare Spanish gold coin was minted in Mexico City during the rule of King Philip V. The obverse side features a Jerusalem cross within a quatrefoil and the reverse shows the King Philip V royal coat of arms. Philip V was the first King of Spain from the House of Bourbon and ruled from 1700 - 1746. During this time, Spain controlled a global empire with territories and colonies in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceana.
With the discovery of untold riches that were mined in the Americas, the Spanish and their mighty galleon fleets were the premier supplier of gold and silver coins for the world. This vastly increased the shipping trade and made many merchants wealthy, both in Spain and in the Colonies. However, it was inevitable that the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1725) in the New World would ensue, with the likes of Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet and "Black Sam" Bellamy raiding ships and settlements in search of treasure. During these adventurous times, large amounts of Spanish treasure would be lost on land and at sea due to pirates, storms and other unforeseen misfortunes.
Gold coinage of this historical period was decreed by the King to be 22 karats and were hand struck from dies and cut to weight. Minted in 5 denominations in gold, the largest was the 8 escudos, though the 2 escudos was famous in the colonies and among pirates as a "doubloon.” A common working man at this time would have to work two months to earn a single escudo.