Atocha Ornate gold "money" chain necklace, 83 links, 21" long.

Currency:USD Category:Artifacts / Shipwreck Artifacts Start Price:6,000.00 USD Estimated At:7,000.00 - 10,000.00 USD
Atocha Ornate gold  money  chain necklace, 83 links, 21  long.
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This item SOLD at 2012 Oct 26 @ 22:11UTC-4 : AST/EDT
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Ornate gold "money" chain necklace, 83 links, 21" long. 128.1 grams. This chain is of identical design to but twice the length of lot 138 in the original Christie's (New York) auction of 1998, which sold for $22,000. The design consists of alternating twisted and straight oval links of fluted ribs, each about 10mm, with a small gap where the link could be opened and removed, adding support to the theory that these chains were used as tax-free money by simply taking out links, each of which had the value of about a 1/2 escudo (8 reales) in its time. Thirteen of the links show fine encrustation, but otherwise the chain is pristine and sharp, with none of the wear and tear usually seen on "money" chains. For five years (2006-11) this piece was displayed by the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society museum, which deemed it one of the highest-quality specimens found (see accompanying letter). For practical reasons (since it is only choker length), the previous owner had copies of the links professionally made in Key West to add 4" (17 links, a little over 25 grams total), so that the chain could fit over his head, but those replica links have been removed and will be offered without obligation to the winning bidder at current melt value, added to the hammer price. With photo-certificate #FD0001 and letter from Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society. Recovered from: Atocha, sunk in 1622 west of Key West, Florida