Shipwreck Booty and the Highest Price Ever Paid for a Dollar

by Carolyn Sotka


The oldest coin minted in the Americas, is set to go on auction for the first time in almost 5 centuries. Discovered from a shipwreck in the early 1990’s, the ‘Foremost’ is an 8 reales minted in 1538 in Mexico, during the reign of Charles and Joanna of Spain and while Hernan Cortes was still exploring the territory after the Conquest.

The ‘first dollar’ of Mexico is technically the first such coin of the United States as well. The US-mint 1794-dollar was modeled after the ‘Foremost’ and sold at auction last year for $10 million dollars.

“We already have interested parties, which means this coin could break the record for the highest price ever paid for a ‘dollar’ that was not struck at a US mint.” says Agustin Garcia-Barneche V.P. of the auction company Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC. There will be worldwide interest, not just for the coin’s historical importance but also because collectors are confident about its extreme rarity.”

The first coin of the New World will be auctioned November 6th, in Orlando, Florida.

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