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nuestra senora de la luz shipwreck gold bar stacks bowers galleries rarities auction

Gold Bars and Gold Rounds Found Aboard Historic Shipwrecks

By Stack's Bowers Galleries

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / Thursday, July 15, 2021 / Categories: Did You Know?

Did you know that in the year 1752, there were at least 198 ships that wrecked, burned, or went missing? These ships served various purposes – some were used for whaling and transport, while others were used for exploring new islands or slave trade. One of the ships that wrecked in 1752 was the Nuestra Señora de la Luz. It wrecked off the coast of Montevideo, South America on July 2, 1752. All of the crew was lost expect for a single sailor.

The Spanish Colonial ship was headed from Buenos Aires to Cádiz. It anchored off of the coast while awaiting provisions and was swept onto nearby rocks when a storm approached. The ship sank. Recovery efforts began immediately, but not all was found. While most of what was on board was escudos, there was a decent amount of gold bullion also reported.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud to present two piece of bullion recovered from the wreck of the Nuestra Señora de la Luz. First we feature a gold bar that was recovered, weighing 735.6 grams and of 0.857 fine gold. It is inscribed “XXXVI” on the face and the reverse is stamped “159.” This bar also sports an “AV” monogram It is featured in Stack’s Bowers Galleries August 2021 Showcase Auction as lot 41577. The bar comes with its original lot tag from its first public offering at Sotheby’s in March 1993.


We are also pleased to be offering a golden disk, with a diameter of 70mm with a weight of 693.61 grams, 0.975 pure gold. It is inscribed “XIV” and “oR.A”. Like the bar, it also features the “AV” monogram. This will be offered as lot 41578 in the upcoming August 2021 Showcase Auction.


Check back in with Did You Know? next week to see another shipwreck gold bar featured: the 55.48 oz Harris, Marchand & Company Rectangular gold Ingot from the S.S. Central America.​