Two Florida Keys shipwreck, archaeology and antique coin experts recently spent a week in Cartagena, Colombia for Cartagena MMXXI – the 3rd International Convention of Historians and Numismatists. (A numismatist specializes in coins and currency, says Wikipedia.)
R. Duncan Mathewson and Carol Tedesco discussed their work and research on Nuestra Senora de Atocha, the Spanish galleon that wrecked off Key West in 1622 loaded with silver and gold coins, emeralds and other treasure recovered by Mel Fisher’s “Golden Crew” of treasure divers in 1985.
Numismatic News reported on the convention, writing: “When the primary cultural deposit of the 1622 galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha was discovered by divers working for treasure hunter Mel Fisher near Key West, Florida in 1985, among its riches was a vast cargo of silver coins, the likes of which had never been seen before. The discovery also delivered a bombshell surprise of evidence for historians: confirmation that hand-struck silver coins were produced in the Nuevo Reino de Granada – today’s Colombia – as early as 1621, a fact that some had suspected, but none had proof to substantiate.“This year, from Dec. 1-5, 400 years after the conflict-ridden establishment of minting houses in both Cartagena and Santa Fe de Bogota, coin experts and history enthusiasts from all over the world, including six from Florida, gathered in Colombia’s seaport city for ‘Cartagena MMXXI – the 3rd International Convention of Historians and Numismatists,’ where they examined and celebrated this fascinating point in time along with other key moments in numismatic history.”
The convention attracted historians and numismatists from more than 20 countries on three continents.