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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    pa
    Pirate of the Ays

    May 2004
    Panama
    Minelab Excal 1000
    1,694
    59 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Shipwreck coins auction to benefit Sussex campus

    Money from sale will be used to create endowment in name of Frank Perdue, Georgetown entrepreneur
    By Randall Chase
    Associated Press Writer

    GEORGETOWN -- Most schools have lockers, but few can boast of a locker belonging to Davy Jones.

    For almost 20 years, Delaware Technical and Community College's campus in Georgetown has been home to a collection of artifacts pulled from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean by famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher.

    Now, the school is preparing to float some of its treasure for coin collectors and history buffs.

    Fisher made headlines in 1985 when he found the wreckage of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, a Spanish galleon that sunk in 1622 off Key West, Fla., with a cargo of gold, silver and precious gems worth an estimated $400 million.

    Among those financing Fisher's exhaustive hunt for the Atocha was the late Melvin Joseph, a Georgetown businessman and entrepreneur who donated some of his take to Delaware Tech's Owens Campus. More than $4 million worth of artifacts, including cannons, coins and jewelry, are featured in the school's "Treasures of the Sea" exhibit.

    While the exhibit features several examples of Spanish coins, thousands more have been tucked away for years in safe deposit boxes.

    On Jan. 7, those coins will go up for sale at a public auction in New York City.

    "It's by far the largest group of Atocha coins that have been sold in at least 10 or 15 years," said Warren Tucker, director of world coin auctions for Heritage Auctions of Dallas. "We're just getting bombarded with inquiries about them."

    Tucker said the coins -- more than 2,700 of them -- could fetch more than half a million dollars.

    Delaware Tech will use proceeds from the sale, minus Heritage's commissions, to establish an endowment named for Joseph and the late poultry magnate Frank Perdue of Salisbury, who also invested in Fisher's expedition and donated artifacts to the school's education foundation.

    "These coins were sitting locked in a bank vault and basically were an asset we had that really wasn't working for us," said Bob Hearn Jr., business manager of the Owens campus.

    The school will use money from the endowment as the education foundation, which approved the sale in April, sees fit.

    "We certainly have a long list of deferred maintenance items on the campus," Hearn noted, adding that the endowment might also be used for scholarships and students services.

    School officials are quick to point out that the "Treasures of the Sea" exhibit, which is tucked away in the library building and draws only about 3,000 visitors a year, is not being gutted for the sale.

    In fact, at the suggestion of Heritage Auction officials, four coins that had been stored away will be added to the exhibit to complement those already on display.

    Gayle Chandler, coordinator of the exhibit, said she was able to see the coins that are being sold during annual audits.

    "You open the boxes up, and it's just coin after coin after coin," she said. "... It's a great opportunity for the college to get additional funding for the campus."

    Tucker said most of the coins being sold are 4-reales and 8-reales pieces, the famous "pieces of 8" from pirate lore. The auction is expected to draw buyers from around the country, as well the West Indies.

    "They do a huge business in Atocha material down there; they sell to the tourist trade," said Tucker, adding that the well-publicized hunt for the shipwreck and the recent dearth of artifacts available for purchase should boost interest in the sale.

    "There's a huge, pent-up demand," he said. "I think the timing is absolutely perfect."


  2. #2

    May 2006
    1,520

    Re: Shipwreck coins auction to benefit Sussex campus

    This is a GREAT idea.
    Wonder why the State of Florida does not do this.
    They BEG FOR MONEY everyday for Education and other things
    The artifacts that Florida has are stored where the public will never see them have become a COSTLY ASSET or a REAL PORK BARREL DEAL.
    They (STATE OF FLORIDA) could devide what they take from the THers by 50% and auction the rest.
    The State would still have more left over hidden in their secret locations than they could ever ever need and the TAXPAYER might get a break yea right!
    The State of Florida could actually make a deal with THers and auction part of what the THers wanted to sell and divide the money 50/50 instead of taking 25% they take. This might not appeal to many of the THers until they give it some serious thought. The State has no idea what an artifact is worth in $$$ so it sits in storage doing nothing.
    That is my thoughts for the day.
    Peg Leg

  3. #3

    Oct 2006
    Coastal, NC
    Garrett Infinium LS, Garret Seahunter MK II, Geometrics 882, Marine Sonic SS
    1,326
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Shipwreck coins auction to benefit Sussex campus

    Tom, that should be good for a couple of brownie points for the treasure hunters.

    Peg Leg, if the state of FLA were to dump their coins on the market that would likely drive prices much lower. I can't even fathom how much they must be sitting on in the way of coins and artifacts. Is there inventory public record anywhere?
    www.coastalmarinesalvage.com

  4. #4

    May 2006
    1,520

    Re: Shipwreck coins auction to benefit Sussex campus

    I would say that there is NO real time record of what the State has in its inventory of any ARTIFACTS.
    Who is there to say that artifacts don't go out the back door. I have no doubt that the UNUSAL ARTIFACTS are kept pretty well inventoried but the thousand and thousand of coins (gold and silver) go out in some pockets.
    Hell they do not know what they even have so how can anyone expect that when the State gets a new shipment that part of the old coins leave for parts unknown.
    Of course that is my opinion.
    i THINK THAT SOMEONE SHOULD PARTITION THE STATE AND ASK FOR AN INVENTORY. Since I am a NUT CASE I cannot.
    Peg Leg

  5. #5
    us
    Mar 2006
    Florida
    1,264
    2 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Shipwreck coins auction to benefit Sussex campus


  6. #6
    Charter Member
    pa
    Pirate of the Ays

    May 2004
    Panama
    Minelab Excal 1000
    1,694
    59 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Sale of historic coins questioned

    By MOLLY MURRAY, The News Journal

    Posted Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    The president of the Washington, D.C.-based Maritime Archaeological & Historical Society is questioning whether Delaware Technical & Community College legally can sell historic coins salvaged from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha shipwreck.

    In a letter to the director of the state Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Steven Anthony, president of the maritime organization, urged state officials to postpone the coin auction – set for Sunday and Monday in New York City – until the matter can be fully investigated.

    College officials say many of Anthony’s concerns are unfounded.

    Among his questions, Anthony said, are whether college officials followed state rules for selling historic objects. But more important, he said, is his concern that a college might sell off historic objects that could one day be used by researchers or to help educate the public.

    Judi Sciple, assistant to the Owens Campus director, said college officials have responded to Anthony but have no plans to delay the coin sale.

    The late Georgetown contractor Melvin Joseph and the late Frank Perdue, the Salisbury, Md., poultry giant, donated hundreds of coins and other artifacts that were recovered off the Florida Keys from the wrecks of the Atocha and her sister ship, the Senora Margarita. The vessels were part of a Spanish fleet that wrecked on a reef during a hurricane in September 1622. The ships were headed from Havana, Cuba, to Seville, Spain, and were laden with treasures from Spain’s Central and South American colonial settlements.

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  7. #7

    May 2006
    1,520

    Re: Shipwreck coins auction to benefit Sussex campus

    I am proud to say HORAY for the school.
    There will always be people that like Anthony.
    Peg Leg

 

 

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