On October 20, 1783, Carolus III, The Bourbon King of Spain, dispatched his “Brig of War,” The El Cazador, to Vera Cruz, Mexico where she would be loaded with nearly 450,000 Silver pesos (almost 14 tons) and return to New Orleans. On January 11, 1784, El Cazador sailed for New Orleans and vessel, crew and fortune disappeared into the winter sea, sinking without a trace. It was discovered many years later that they made it within 50 miles of its destination when it was lost in 300 feet of water. “The Shipwreck that leads to the Louisiana Purchase”. The loss of the El Cazador was a significant moment in the history of the United States. The Spanish sorely needed this shipment to stabilize the weak monetary system in their colonial Louisiana. Without the silver to sustain it, Spain’s ability to profit from the territory collapsed and never recovered. Eventually, Spain lost Louisiana to France’s Napoleon, who sold the one million square miles to the young United States.
“The First U.S. Silver Dollars” The first U.S. silver dollars were actually the famous eight reales, commonly called “Pieces of Eight.” As the most valuable circulating silver coins of the day, they became the silver standard of the New World. In an age when international trade was largely conducted in silver coinage, this silver dollar became the ‘actual’ first silver dollar of the United States of America!
Each coin is unique, pictures shown are examples of coins, coins markings may vary.
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