Treasure Hunters Find $1 Million Worth Of Gold From 1715 Fleet Wreckage
It's called the Treasure Coast for a reason.
Florida treasure hunters recently announced they found $1 million worth of gold artifacts—including a “Royal” coin meant for the king of Spain—in 15-foot waters off the coast of Fort Pierce last month. The items came from the wreckage of a fleet headed from Havana to Spain in 1715.
The discovery was made by the Schmitt family and a company called 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC, a historic shipwreck salvage operation that owns the rights to the wreckage. The company teased the big news on its Facebook page last week, when it shared that July 24 marked the date the 1715 Fleet departed Havana.
The 11 ships in the fleet sank on July 31, 1715, after facing harsh weather conditions from a hurricane near Florida’s coast. According to Treasure Coast Newspapers, the family waited to make the announcement closer to the 300th anniversary of the ship’s sinking. Among the artifacts found were 51 gold coins and 40 feet of gold chain. They were discovered after digging up multiple feet of sand on the ocean floor.
As you can probably imagine, treasure-hunting isn’t always rewarding. Boat captain Eric Schmitt told CBS News they pick through a lot of junk, like beer cans, but when they (quite literally) strike gold, the hard work pays off.
"Those are things you dream of finding a 'Royal' coin, finding a presentation piece. And there are people who have been doing this for 40 or 50 years who have never found one," Schmitt said.
The Schmitt family made headlines last year when they discovered other rare artifacts valued at more than $100,000 from the fleet’s wreckage.
Check out video of the discovery, below.