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Old 3rd April 2021, 06:57 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,185
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Ahoy Cap'n!
An EXCELLENT entry, and fascinating discoveries of these coins, which are unique enough, and corroborated enough to present convincing evidence that they may well have been part of this remarkable booty hoard.

While the volume of coinage must have been enormous, it seems likely that numbers of them might well have fallen to the ground in transporting the treasure from one place to another. It is always said that pirates did not bury their ill gotten gains, but simply spent the money frivolously. However, here were countless numbers of these strange coins of Arabia and India, which were hardly among currency usually exchanged in trade in America.
Still they would have been of value for the precious metals, so there was the rub.

Just how much of this 'heavy metal' would be feasible to carry in the pockets of the members of the crew? and there were no banks etc....so what then was done with what must have been chests of coin, not to mention jewels.
This suggests of course burial, at least for a time. Fate allowing, these guys probably retrieved these proceeds within short time, again presenting the opportunity for stray coinage to be accidentally deposited here and there.

Your point of the importance of coins in identification of markings on sword blades is well placed. As you note, the four dots on those 'dump' coins of the VOC do occur on Dutch blades, often on the quillon of some walloons as well.

I recall with an Afghan sword I had, there was a cartouche containing what appeared a Muslim shrine and some Arabic script. Eventually the same device was found on an Afghan coin of 1890s, and the mark was the state seal of Afghanistan. This was applied to blades from the Machin Khana arsenal in Kabul.

Often the royal cyphers found on blades can be matched to same found on coinage issued in the particular country of the sword, as well as substantiating the period.

Indeed a topic that is often salient in the study of arms! and ALWAYS key in the study of our favorite brothers of the sea!
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