Destined for the failing Spanish colony of Louisiana the Spanish Armada’s finest ship El Cazador, “The Hunter” set sail off the Mexican coast in 1784. Loaded with ‘8 Reales’ silver coins, to re-invigorate the economy with much-need currency. Her destination was never reached.

When El Cazador and her vast silver wealth were lost at sea, the consequences for Louisiana were disastrous. With no money to trade for supplies or pay salaries, the Spanish king Carlos III was forced to sell the colony. He eventually traded Louisiana in a deal with none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Discovered by a small fishing vessel called the “Mistake” in 1993 off the coast of New Orleans, the unlikely treasure hunters uncovered one of the largest clusters of coins “The Whale Cluster” which is also the most famous of its kind.

Had El Cazador not sunk, Napoleon’s trade may never have happened and The Battle of Waterloo may never have taken place. How astonishing it is that such a twist of fate came to determine the future of both Europe and the USA.

El Cazador ‘8 Reales’ solid silver coins are forever written into modern history being the very first U.S. Dollar and recommended to be adapted by Continental Congress by Thomas Jefferson.

The influence of the coin can even be seen in the columns wrapped in a ribbon on the coin’s reverse, which inspired the American dollar sign.

Sterling Silver
25 grams
Issuing Authority:
8 Real
Year of issue: