TWO SILVER 'V.O.C. AMSTERDAM' INGOTS
Circa 1738, with monogram and the assay mark of the Amsterdam Grill family
With V.O.C. monogram and the A for Amsterdam.
L. 15.5 cm
Weight 1972 grams
L. 16 cm
Weight 1956 grams
The ingots were salvaged in 2004 from the wreck of the VOC indiaman Rooswijk, equipped by the Amsterdam VOC Chamber. The Rooswijk sank on its second voyage to the Dutch East Indies off the English coast on the Goodwin Sands in 1739. The Dutch had little to offer in Asia to trade for Asian goods, but silver and gold. Therefore the VOC ships sailed to Asia with silver bars and gold coins to pay for Asian goods. The silver bars were cast in private factories in the Netherlands, run by assayers, from melted down coins, mainly Spanish American “reales”. Once in Asia these bars were melted down again and minted into coins such as rupees, that could be used for payment in the East.