Presented by Carol Tedesco
By 1622, little more than a century after Columbus’ first voyage, Spain’s pursuit of riches, glory, and souls to convert had resulted in the conquest of much of the Caribbean, Mexico, and other parts of the Americas – the New World. Silver was the most abundant treasure of “the Indies” and royal mints were established in key areas to process and regulate a seemingly inexhaustible torrent of silver pouring from the mines.
To control and document the resource, silver was shipped to the Kingdom of Spain in the form of coins and ingots. In September of 1622, with hurricane season upon them, the 28 vessel Tierra Firme fleet prepared to depart the port of Havana, Cuba for Spain. Two of the vessels in the fleet were the Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Santa Margarita, which were shipwrecked in the Florida Straits and discovered in the 1980’s by divers working for famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher. For decades Key Wester’s and people around the world have collected silver coins from the Atocha and Santa Margarita, most of which originated in Potosi, Bolivia – then part of the Viceroyalty of Peru. But there were coins from other New and Old World mints onboard as well, including a relatively minuscule number from the Lima mint.
Already from three decades to a half-century old when the 1622 ships sailed, Lima mint coins in the Atocha collection were always categorized as very rare. In “Lima Mint Coins Recovered from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Santa Margarita” Carol Tedesco will explain how time proved them to be much more rare than anyone originally thought.
Representing Key West Art & Historical Society, Carol debuted “Lima Mint Coins Recovered from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Santa Margarita” at Arequipa 2018, the Second International Conference of Historians and Numismatists in Arequipa, Peru.
An internationally recognized shipwreck-recovered coin expert, her accomplishments have been recognized with membership in the Explorer’s Club. She is author of “Treasure Coins of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita,” numerous archaeological mystery articles, and the monograph, “The Deep-Sea Dry Tortugas Shipwreck, Florida (1622): the Silver Coins.
Portions of her presentation are excerpted from her manuscript, “Pieces of Eight Silver Treasure Coins of the 1622 Shipwrecks Nuestra Senora de Atocha, Santa Margarita & the Portuguese Carrack São Jose”.
Those who own Spanish Colonial silver coins and wish to know more about them are invited to bring them to the presentation.
About the Presenter
Carol Tedesco is a photographer, publicist, author and historic shipwreck professional who has called Key West home for more than two decades. As a publicist, her clients have included treasure hunters, rock stars, dogs, muscle men, ballerina’s and fairies, though not necessarily in that order. In the shipwreck industry she has worked with projects in North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Pacific, providing services for some of the most prominent underwater exploration companies in the world. She is an internationally recognized Spanish Colonial coin expert, proficient at designing databases for the tracking of artifacts and specific coin features and characteristics and is considered the foremost authority on coins of 1622 fleet shipwrecks.
Carol has been a featured speaker at both the 1st (Bolivia) and 2nd (Peru) International Convention of Historians and Numismatists and was a member of the International Organizing Committee for the 2nd Convention. She is author of numerous archaeological mystery articles as well as the monograph, The Deep-Sea Dry Tortugas Shipwreck, Florida (1622): the Silver Coins, the book Treasure Coins of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita and is currently at work on an expanded study, titled Pieces of Eight – Silver Treasure Coins of the 1622 Shipwrecks Nuestra Senora de Atocha, Santa Margarita, and the Portuguese Carrack São José.
Carol is a founder of the Professional Marine Explorers Society. Her accomplishments have been recognized with membership in the Explorers Club.