On Nov. 15, 1761, L’ Auguste de Bordeaux sank off the coast of Nova Scotia after fighting a losing battle with a winter storm. L’ Auguste was transporting 121 French aristocrats and officers exiled from their Canadian home to France at the end of the Seven Years War between France and Britain. Those on the ship had to bring their belongings as “moveable wealth” in the form of gold and silver coins. Auguste was a merchant ship, a French privateer captured by the British. She was hired after the British conquest on the Plains of Abraham to deport soldiers and officials from Quebec back to France. Her passengers ranged from high-ranking and wealthy officials to lower-ranked non-commissioned officers.
For the next 200 years, the Auguste wreck eluded treasure hunters, but in 1977, it was found in shallow waters along the Aspay Bay and was partially salvaged under government supervision. In 2000 a new group of salvors and investors, known as Auguste Expedition LLC, obtained a government permit to conduct further salvage of the wreck. The team began its recovery expedition in the summer of 2001 which continued over the next few summers, they conducted several more searches of the wreck site and recovered thousands of coins and historic artifacts.
Coins are dated between 1741 and 1758.