1783 El Cazador 8 Reale

Sale price$519.00

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This artifact is a Spanish 8 Reale coin from the El Cazador shipwreck near Louisiana.  This shipwreck dates to 1783 and is also known as “The Shipwreck That Changed America”.  More can be read about this historic shipwreck below.

This coin is approximately one ounce of Spanish silver from1783.  The quality is superb and a great piece of history to take home with you.  This coin has been professionally cleaned and restored.

This artifact comes with a National Guaranty Corporation certification and a Certificate of Authenticity from Global Xploration.


El Cazador is a very important ship with regards to American history. "El Cazador" means "The Hunter" in English and the shipwreck is also better known as the "Shipwreck That Changed America". She was a Spanish brig-of-war at 90 feet long tasked with a very important delivery to maintain Spain's power.


At this time in American history during the late 1700's the Louisiana Purchase territory was controlled by Spain. Carlos III was the current King of Spain at this time and was also struggling to maintain paper currency not backed by silver or gold throughout his territories. He began this strategy of non-precious metal backed currency during the 1770's. On October 20th, 1783 he decided that he needed to strengthen the worthless paper currency used in the Spanish controlled Louisiana Purchase Territory by introducing silver coins.  El Cazador sailed to Veracruz, Mexico on orders from Carlos III and loaded over 400,000 silver pesos with the majority of them being 8 Reales (Pieces of Eight). They also loaded over 50,000 smaller currency silver coins. All of the coins combined had a weight of over 37,500 pounds of silver on board that was headed for New Orleans, Louisiana.


Captain Gabriel de Campos y Pineda was King Carlos III's most trusted captain and he was in charge of making this important delivery. Captain Gabriel left Veracruz, Mexico on January 11th, 1784 and was never heard from again. It was assumed that they experienced a large tropical storm which caused their heavily weighted ship to sink. King Carlos III ordered salvage and rescue crews to find the ship for four months until the crew and cargo of El Cazador was deemed lost-at-sea.

The importance of this shipwreck for American history lies within the importance of this silver currency delivery and the current state of the Spanish economy in what is now North America. The current economy was weak in the Louisiana Purchase territory due to Spain converting to paper currency and away from the "gold standard". Due to the geographical distance between Spain and the territory in the New World it made it difficult to manage the territory remotely. Spain ended up needing to ultimately sell the Louisiana Purchase territory to what is now the United States. This is why most people refer to this shipwreck as the "Shipwreck That Changed America".

This shipwreck and its treasures spent over 200 years under the ocean until a Mistake revealed her. On August 2, 1993 a fishing trawler named Mistake got their nets caught on the remains of the wreck. Captain Jerry Murphy ordered the crew to bring up her nets and untangle the debris only to find that their nets were filled with silver coins. The Mistake had found the El Cazador.

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