A treasure hunter from Florida has discovered gold coins worth more than $1 million inside a Spanish shipwreck that sank more than three hundred years ago. The experts say the fleet went down during a storm off the coast of Florida.
The gold artifacts were discovered by treasure hunter Eric Schmitt and the discovery was announced by the company that owns the site where the treasure was found. Brent Brisben, the manager of 1715 Fleet Queens Jewels LLC, said that the treasure was discovered almost a month ago. Brisben added that it was very hard for those who found the gold jewels to keep quiet about it until everything was settled.
The treasure consists of 51 gold coins, gold chains, and a very rare coin the experts refer to as the “Tricentennial Royal”. This rare artifact was made for King Philip V of Spain and is worth more than $500,000 because of it rarity and its condition. According to Schmitt, the “Tricentennial Royal” coin was made only for presentation purposes and did not circulate as currency in those times. The coin is so rare that only six of them exist in the world, the experts believe.
Schmitt said he discovered the gold treasure while he was diving near Fort Pierce, north of Port Lucie. He was out with his wife, parents and sister on their annual treasure hunting trip when he found the rare artifacts.
According to Brisben, about 11 Spanish ships sank while they were coming from Havana during a hurricane. The ships were carrying valuable jewelry and gold coins worth 3.5 million pesos. Some of the jewels belonged to the Queen of Spain, the experts added. More than 1,000 people that were on board died during the storm and Brisben said the ships’ cargo is worth more than $400 million.
This is not the first time Eric Schmitt and his family discovers valuable artifacts. The Schmitts are actually subcontractors at Brisben’s company and these past two years have been going good for the treasure hunter. In 2013, he discovered pieces of gold chain that measured more than 60 ft put together. In 2014, the Scmitts found the back side of a gold filigree pyx that was crafted by hand and was used by the Eucharist while observing the Holy Communion.
20% of the treasure will be taken by the Florida state and display it in museums, while the Schmitts and Brisben’s company will split the rest.
Image Source: thebuzzfactoree.