FRANCE (Nova Scotia) Le Chameau Shipwreck Gold Louis d'or Mirliton, Louis XV, 1723-L




Collections: Le Chameau, Miscellaneous

Product type: Coin

Vendor: Britannianumismatics



France (Bayonne mint), gold louis d'or mirliton, Louis XV, 1723-L, LL monogram with palm branches, Le Chameau (Shipwreck Blue Label) NGC Uncirculated Details Cleaned. Gad-338; KM-468.9. Only a small percentage of the coins from Le Chameau came from the Bayonne Mint.

Boldly struck obverse with adjustment marks* on bust, center of reverse slightly weak, surfaces somewhat matte, rated R2 in Gadoury. Pedigreed to the Stack's Bowers auction of November 2015 Lot 23146.

*Adjustment marks are file marks made at the mint in order to reduce the weight of a coin so that its metal value does not exceed its face value. An adjustment mark does not reduce the value of a coin nearly as much as would similar scratches which were not mint applied.

Recovered from: Le Chameau, sunk in 1725 off Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Courtesy of Wikipedia - The French ship Le Chameau was a wooden sailing ship of the French Navy, built in 1717. She was used to transport passengers and supplies to New France (in present day Canada), making several trips. Nearing the end of her last voyage, a storm blew her onto some rocks on August 27, 1725. She sank, with the loss of all aboard; estimates range as high as 316 dead. In 1965, Alex Storm and his associates located the wreckage near Chameau Rock, and recovered a treasure of gold and silver pieces.

Chameau was built in Rochefort, France, in 1717, the brainchild of young naval architect Blaise Ollivier. After visiting English and Dutch shipyards, he envisioned a fast, yet well-armed naval transport called a flute. The Chameau had a "keel of 135 feet (41 m), a width of 31 feet (9.4 m), and a draft of 15 feet (4.6 m)", and displaced 540, 600 or 650 tons. It was armed with "twenty 12-pounder cannons along the lower gun deck and two more in the stern. Twenty-two 6-pounders mounted on the upper deck completed a complement of 44 cannons."

From 1719 to 1725, she carried cargo, passengers, and funds from France to the French colony in North America and returned with passengers and cargo such as wood, wood tar, and beaver pelts. Between 1720 and 1724, she was "commanded successively by de Voutron, de Lamirande, de Beauharnois and Meschi".

Chameau set out from La Rochelle on her final voyage in July 1725, under the command of Jean de Saint James. Aboard was a large quantity of gold, silver and copper coins; and dignitaries de Chazel, the new Intendant; and de Louvigny, the Governor-Elect of Trois-Rivières. Several miles east of her destination of Louisbourg, the ship was swept onto the rocks by a storm on August 27, 1725. Chameau sank, and all aboard perished; the reported number of dead ranges from 216 to "over 300" to 316.

An unsuccessful attempt to salvage the cargo was made the following year.

The Nova Scotia Government Position
Nova Scotia has many more ships that have not been recovered, and for the purposes of offering coins to collectors, probably never will be. The Province of Nova Scotia has ended the possibility for independent exploration of its waters by salvage companies. Rather than stating our viewpoint we have provided links to the official statement from the province, plus links for the opposing views. 
The Official Statement and press release from the Province of Nova Scotia :