NGC® Certification Available
All of these coins come from the same source, but NGC® certified coins are reviewed by a world class authentication service and encased in a tamper proof plastic holder. Learn more
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Origin: These are all original silver coins from the El Cazador wreck, discovered in 1993 after it sunk in the Gulf of Mexico in 1784. Our lot contains examples of 1/2 real coins found aboard the ship, though the NGC® graded examples are of the larger 8 reales denomination.
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Shipwreck treasure is more than just legend—here's the real thing.
The El Cazador was a Spanish warship, bound for the port of New Orleans in January 1784. It carried over 18 tons of silver, departing from the city of Veracruz, Mexico.
But the ship was never heard from again—it would not be rediscovered until 1993, when a fishing boat pulled up a hoard of silver coins.
These coins were hidden on the ocean floor for over 200 years, but now they're yours to own.
They have been verified genuine by our team—each one comes with a Certificate of Authenticity backed by our lifetime guarantee. You'll receive a genuine 1/2 real silver coin recovered from the wreck.
You can also purchase NGC® certification for these coins, the gold standard of coin authentication in the US. All NGC® certified coins are the 8 reales variety, also known as the Spanish "Piece of Eight," and are encased in an official NGC® plastic holder.
Coins of the El Cazador wreck shortly after recovery.
About the "El Cazador": A Spanish shipwreck that accidentally changed history
The "El Cazador" was meant to carry its load of silver coins to the port of New Orleans, in an effort by the Spanish king Carlos III to stabilize its economy.
At the time, the port city was using paper money that was not backed by silver or gold. As a result, the money quickly became worthless. The Spanish solution to this was to ship a massive amount of silver coins from Mexico, and the "El Cazador" was given the task of doing so.
But the ship never arrived, of course. Though we do not know exactly what caused the shipwreck, the ship was never heard from again after departing Veracruz, Mexico in 1784.
This had great impact on the history of not just New Orleans, but the United States itself. Because the "El Cazador" had never arrived with it's much needed silver payload, the economy of the port faltered. Spain grew weary of managing the unstable territory, and eventually struck a deal that transferred the entirety of Louisiana to the French. Of course, France would later sell the land to the United States in the historic Louisiana Purchase. Had the "El Cazador" shipwreck not occurred, the modern United States may very well have looked quite different.
After sitting at the bottom of the ocean for over 210 years, the wreck of the "El Cazador" was finally discovered by a fisherman aboard an ironically named vessel—the Mistake. When fishing off the Gulf of Mexico, the Mistake's net hit a snag while being pulled up. After recovering the net, the crew hauled up a shocking discovery of a hoard of silver coins. After this, the wreck was explored fully and the coins recovered were cleaned and cataloged. Finally, they were appraised and released to the public in 2005.
Your order will include:
- With History Hoard authentication:
- A 1/2 real silver coin from the "El Cazador" shipwreck, in a glass top leather display box
- Certificate of Authenticity
- With NGC® certification:
- An 8 reales "Piece of Eight" silver coin from the "El Cazador" shipwreck, encased in an official NGC® plastic holder
- Certificate of Authenticity
- Detail card with relevant information about the relic
History Hoard relics are guaranteed authentic and have a 100% money back policy. Read more about the History Hoard Promise.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Your Certificate of Authenticity is more than just a piece of paper—it's a promise to you.
When you buy from History Hoard, you can rest assured that each of your new relics has been thoroughly inspected under the careful eyes of an antiquities specialist. Only items that are 100% certain to be authentic get sent to our customers.
Plus, we take great care to source our relics from only vetted antiquities experts, who are also committed to providing genuine and ethically sourced relics.
Check out this video to see the most basic things we look for when authenticating coins:
To read more about our promise to you, click here.
Actually, many relics are able to be owned by anyone.
Typically, museums only want to display items that are either very rare or incredibly well preserved. This leaves many items that don't make the cut, and these are able to be owned by individuals.
While the items we sell aren't "museum grade," they still carry with them the same amount of history and uniqueness. Each relic was still hand made by a person, hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
One of our core values is not to damage or alter any of the artifacts we sell.
History needs to be preserved—after all, there is a limited amount of it that survives—but it is also something to be shared with the masses. For this reason, we put our relics in sturdy display cases that are safe to handle, but are mindful that someday the relic may need to be taken out again.
No glue or resin holds the items in place. Instead, we're developed our own method for holding the relics securely in their displays using pressure alone. In fact, any of our relics can be removed in their original condition by simply opening the display case.
You can find our complete FAQ section here.