Florida family finds $1mn in gold from sunken 18th century Spanish galleon (PHOTOS)
Published time: 28 Jul, 2015 07:35
A Florida family hit the jackpot when they found $1 million-worth of gold artefacts, including a royal coin from the Spanish king, recovered from a Spanish ship that sank off the Floridean coast 300 years ago.
“Congratulations to the entire Schmitt family and the crew of the Aarrr Booty. Way to go Eric [Schmitt], this is truly remarkable!!!” said 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC, a group of Historic Shipwreck Salvors focused on the exploration and recovery of the famous vessel, on its Facebook page.
The riches include 51 coins of various denominations, 12 meters of ornate gold chain, according to Brent Brisben, the founder of 1715 Fleet. The chains, made in the shape of tiny, handcrafted, two-sided, six-petalled flowers called "olive blossoms,” were reportedly used as a tax-free coinage.
1715 Fleet owns the rights for the sunken vessel, while the Schmitt family are sub-contractors.
Probably the most notable finding of the family of treasure hunters is a “royal” coin dated 1715 and made for King Phillip V of Spain (1683-1746).
The 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet was returning from Havana, Cuba, to Spain when it was caught in a hurricane near the present-day city of Vero Beach, Florida. Eleven out of twelve vessels were lost in the disaster. About 1,000 people died, while another 1,500 were able to swim to shore.
Some of the coins from the 300-year-old ship still wash up on the Florida coast from time to time.
Brisbane added that Spanish convoy manifests estimated that the vessels were carrying the equivalent of about $400 million in today's money, of which $175 million has been recovered so far. He added that he wanted to time the announcement of the treasure's discovery with the 300th anniversary of the vessels' sinking on July 31.
The State of Florida will take up to 20 percent of the treasures and display them in local museums. 1715 Fleet and the Schmitt family will split the rest of the booty.
This article has a great video of the Florida find "as it happened" in the linked article (I can't extract it for some reason)
It's only a minute and a half long, but is worth the watch...
Sanford treasure hunters find $1M in gold off Florida's coast
Most of the time, the metal detectors uncover beer cans and lead fishing weights. But this time was different. This time, the treasure-hunter from Sanford struck gold, and a lot of it....
Schmitt and his family found 52 gold coins worth more than $1 million. The star of the haul was an extremely rare coin known as a "Tricentennial Royal" minted in 1715. It had been underwater since a fleet of Spanish ships foundered during a hurricane along Florida's Treasure Coast 300 years ago, Schmitt said.
"These things were known as presentation pieces not meant to be circulated as currency," Schmitt said.
That coin alone is worth about $500,000, according to Schmitt.
And according to Brent Brisben, co-founder of 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC, the company that owns the rights to dive at the wreckage site where the gold was found, the coin's value comes from the fact that it is in nearly perfect condition and is a rarity.
Only about six of the coins are known to exist, Brisben said.
Looks like Mel's personal collection of "goodies" been put up by his kids?
Some nice pics!
American treasure hunter Mel Fisher discovered the sunken treasure of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, the most famous member of a fleet of Spanish ships that sank in 1622 after sailing into a violent hurricane. To mark the thirty-year anniversary of this astonishing discovery, on August 5 New York City-based auction house Guernsey’s will auction off select items from Fisher’s esteemed Collection. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Michael Abt, Jr. Have a Heart Foundation, which works to provide Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to schools nationwide.
The photo released by the police in Rosenheim on Aug. 12, 2015 shows a gold bar that was found by a teenager when swimming in a lake near Berchtesgaden. Police said in a statement that they are trying to find out from where the 500g (17.6-ounce) bar came.
A teenager has made an unexpected find while swimming in a lake in the German Alps: a 17.6-ounce bar of gold.
Police said Wednesday that they are still trying to figure out where the bar comes from and how it got into the Koenigssee lake, a popular tourist destination near Berchtesgaden on the border with Austria.
The 16-year-old girl, who was on vacation, found it around 6 ½ feet under the surface on Friday and handed it in to police.
Divers on Tuesday carried out a thorough search of the area around where the bar was found, but didn't find any more gold or other valuables.
The boating accident was too close to shore...maybe there are drought conditions at the at lake. Something to consider when transporting your stack across aquatic areas.
The lights above the bar are out of frame, but .... the area which looks like it had a grinder applied to it is very un-goldish in colour, also the worn corners on right hand side.
Real or Au plated fake thrown away?
Berchtesgaden? Hitler's Vacation spot. Also, the place where the Allies and Eisenhower recovered all the Nazi spoils of war, art, including gold
Degauss bank holder of Rothschild gold collection. Probably made in Switzerland
Serial number scratched off and other insignia , striations missing off typical Degussa bar.
100 year old spanish bullion found in deep waters often in near pristine condition. Not that one.
The train is rumoured to have been carrying gold and gems
Two people in Poland say they may have found a Nazi train rumoured to be full of gold, gems and guns that disappeared in World War Two, Polish media say.
The train is believed to have gone missing near what is now the Polish city of Wroclaw as Soviet forces approached in 1945.
A law firm in south-west Poland says it has been contacted by two men who have discovered the armoured train.
Polish media say the men want 10% of the value of the train's contents.
Florida Divers Find $4.5mn in Gold Coins From Sunken 18th Century Spanish Fleet
Divers in Florida once again hit the jackpot after finding $4.5 million worth of rare coins from a Spanish fleet that sank off the Florida coast 300 years ago. The spot is ‘commercially successful’ as earlier a Florida family discovered $1 million in treasure from the same area.
“Over 350 gold coins including 9 Royals were recovered on July 30 & 31. This amazing recovery occurred on the actual 300th Anniversary,” said 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC, a group of historic shipwreck salvagers, on its Facebook page.
The royal coins are dated 1715 and were minted during the reign of King Phillip V of Spain (1683-1746).
“People love treasure stories. It resonates with everybody — every demographic, young and old, rich and poor,” Brent Brisben, the founder of 1715 Fleet, told media. “People freak out that we’re literally 10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters) off the beach in 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters) of water.”
“It’s been magical,” Brisben said. “What’s amazing about this is we found it on the actual anniversary. We found 230 gold coins on the 30th, and the hurricane started on the evening of the 30th [in 1715].”
Later on July 31, the divers found 75 more gold coins, he added.
The 1715 fleet was returning from Havana, Cuba, to Spain when it was caught in a hurricane near the present day city of Vero Beach, Florida. Eleven out of 12 vessels were lost in the disaster. About 1,000 people died, while another 1,500 survived and managed to swim to shore.
According Brisben, Spanish convoy manifests estimated that the vessels were carrying the equivalent of about $400 million in today’s money, of which about $180 million has been recovered so far.
It looks like that strip of Florida coast is very rich in Spanish treasure: some of the coins from the 300-year-old ship still wash up on the Florida coast from time to time.
Earlier in July, 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC announced that the Schmitt family from Florida found $1 million worth of gold artifacts, including a royal coin from the Spanish king recovered from the famous fleet.
1715 Fleet owns the rights for the sunken vessels, while the Schmitt family are sub-contractors.
The State of Florida will take up to 20 percent of the treasure and display them in local museums. 1715 Fleet and the Schmitt family will split the rest of the bounty.
Florida treasure hunters find $4.5 million in rare Spanish coins
By Barbara Liston
Reuters August 19, 2015
ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida treasure hunters found a trove of $4.5 million worth of Spanish gold coins 300 years to the day after a fleet of ships sunk in a hurricane while en route from Havana to Spain, the salvage owner said Wednesday.
The 350 coins found on July 30 include nine rare pieces, known as royal eight escudos, which were being transported to the King of Spain, according to Brent Brisben. His company, 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels, owns the rights to the wreckage.
Only 20 such coins were known to exist prior to the recovery of the nine royals, Brisben said.
"The gold looks like it fell into the water yesterday," said William Bartlett, 51, the diver who spotted the haul.
Bartlett was part of a three-man crew aboard Brisben' boat S/V Capitana when it found coins in shallow waters off Vero Beach, Florida. The search site was picked because it was close to a previous discovery.
On the same day in 1715, a hurricane tossed 11 treasure-laden Spanish galleons on to reefs off Florida's East Coast, sinking them in the early hours the following morning. Today, the wreckage is scattered over a wide area.
The coins found by Bartlett are part of the now-scattered treasure transported by the galleons, which have since broken up.
Bartlett said the crew used the boat propeller to blow a hole in the sandy ocean floor to reach bedrock eight feet down. The salvage operation lasted five days.
Like many Florida treasure hunters, Bartlett, a Pompano Beach kitchen and bathroom remodeler, dives as a hobby.
He said he did not hunt treasure for the money, and declined to say how much he would receive under contract with 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels.
"I'm just a guy on a boat living the dream," Bartlett said.
Hunters like Bartlett typically work under contract with the company, which grants them a percentage of their find after the state of Florida exercises its right to 20 percent of the haul.
The company acquired legal custodianship of the sunken fleet from the heirs of world-renowned treasure hunter Mel Fisher.
Two rare 8 Escudos Lima dated 1710 recovered from the 1715 Fleet prior to the July 30, 2015 discovery. The Spanish treasure fleet was returning from the New World to Spain when on July 30, 1715, seven days after departing from Havana, Cuba, eleven of the twelve ships of this fleet were lost in a hurricane near present-day Vero Beach, Florida.
Ancient Greek Warrior's Tomb Yields Eye-Popping Treasures
An American husband-and-wife team working in Greece has uncovered the 3,500-year-old remains of a prominent ancient warrior who was buried alongside an assortment of riches. It’s being called the most important discovery made in continental Greece in over 65 years.
The undisturbed tomb, found in southwestern Greece by University of Cincinnati archaeologists Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis, was discovered back in May of this year. .... Stocker and Davis made the discovery while working near the Palace of Nestor, a site initially discovered back in 1939.
The team’s excavation revealed a single Mycenaean-era burial pit measuring 5 feet deep, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long. The skeletal remains of a single individual—an unknown male between the age of 30 to 35 years—was found buried alongside an astounding assortment of riches, a strong indication that he was likely a warrior of significant importance.
...The warrior was laid to rest with his many belongings, including fine gold jewellery, an ornate string of pearls, signet rings, silver vases, ivory combs, and a bronze sword with a gold and ivory handle. ...
The jewellery, adorned with figures of deities, animals, and floral motifs, was crafted in the style of the Minoans, a civilization that lived on the island of Crete from around 2,000 BC. ...
Four solid gold rings were uncovered, which is more than has been found in any other single burial in all of Greece (Credit: Greek Culture Ministry)
A stunning solid-gold necklace, measuring more than 30 inches long. It features two gold pendants on each end, decorated with ivy leaves. (Credit: Greek Culture Ministry)
One of nearly 50 seal stones discovered. In all, some 1,400 objects were recovered from the grave. (Credit: Greek Culture Ministry)
Archaeologists Find Treasure-Laden Tomb of Bronze Age Warrior
October 28, 2015 By Jesse Greenspan
The area around Pylos, on the southwest coast of Greece, has long been a hotspot for Bronze Age artifacts. This week, a husband-and-wife team from the University of Cincinnati announced the latest major find from there: an intact 3,500-year-old warrior tomb filled with weapons and jewelry. Bling factor aside, this treasure trove provides key insight into the ancient civilization immortalized by Homer....
In the decades since, there has been no shortage of digs at the site. Yet University of Cincinnati archeologists Sharon R. Stocker and Jack L. Davis, who are married to each other, decided to try their luck there anyway, gathering a team of some three-dozen colleagues from 15 countries. Immediately after work began in May, the team noticed three stones sticking out of the ground in a field near the palace, only 130 feet away from where a so-called beehive tomb had previously been excavated. “We got lucky,” Davis said. “We weren’t planning on digging this field at all this year. We were going to buy an adjacent field, but the purchase fell through at the last minute.”
Originally, the archaeologists believed they had located an ancient house. They penetrated three feet into the structure without finding much more than a few pottery fragments. But perseverance paid off: more than a week in, they hit a layer of bronze that turned out to be a grave shaft 5 feet deep, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. Inside, a 30-to-35-year-old Mycenaean warrior—who, according to Stocker, may have also been a trader, priest or king—lay on his back, surrounded by some 1,400 artifacts. “It’s still absolutely mindboggling that we found an unlooted grave,” Stocker said in a phone interview from Greece. “It was a complete shock.” Davis concurred, calling the discovery “pretty incredible” and “totally unexpected.” He quoted a colleague, who said “this will put an end to the stupid questions people ask if there’s anything left to be found in Greece.”
The warrior certainly did not lack in possessions. Several weapons, including a bronze sword with a gold-covered ivory hilt, were at his side, as were four solid-gold rings, a gold necklace and hundreds of precious stone beads. Other items inside the tomb included a bronze mirror with an ivory handle, six ivory combs, gold and silver cups, more than 50 intricately carved seal stones and an ivory plaque showcasing a griffin, the mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. Notably absent was any ceramic pottery. “Our guy was so rich that all of his stuff was [made] of metal,” Stocker said....
China Exclusive: Archeological discovery deciphers Han Dynasty monetary system
English.news.cn | 2015-11-06
NANCHANG, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The work of the archeologist holds an almost inexplicable romance for many lay folks, but Li Xiaobin's job, admirable as it is, holds very little glamour.
Since August, crouched on a wooden board balanced precariously over a tomb bed 9 meters below, Li has spent about six hours every day meticulously counting his way through 10 tonnes of bronze coins.
The Wuzhu bronze coins were unearthed in the most complete Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- 25 A.D.) cemetery ever discovered in China.
Chinese archeologists announced Wednesday the discovery of the Haihunhou cemetery near Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province. It covers some 40,000 square meters with eight tombs and a chariot burial site with walls that stretch for almost 900 meters.
The bronze coins together with more than 10,000 other gold, bronze and iron items, have been unearthed along with jade articles, wood tablets and bamboo slips.
The work of Li and his colleagues in counting, clearing and photographing the coin has led to the first clear understanding of the Han Dynasty monetary system.
The coins were arranged in group of 1,000, with each set strung on a cord.
Before the finding, historical documents had suggested that a string of 1,000 coins was a monetary unit, which was thought to have originated in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). This is the first hard archeological evidence of the monetary unit, and has pushed the date back 600 years.
Xin Lixiang of the China National Museum, who heads the team at the site said that according to documents, 10 such strings of bronze coins could be exchanged for 250 grams (or one "Jin" in Chinese) of gold. Ten "Jin" of gold was usually the total property of a middle-class family at that time.
Li and his colleagues have found six complete strings of bronze coins at the dig.
"The coins are strung on hemp ropes. Although the ropes had weathered, we were able to identify the strings," said Li.
He said to prevent the piles of coins from collapsing, they had to work on the hanging board. The coins came from the reigns of three emperors including the Emperor Wu, considered the greatest ruler of Han Dynasty, and Emperor Zhao and Emperor Xuan in the Western Han Dynasty.
Each round coin has a square hole in the center and is carved with the characters of Wuzhu in seal style font. Wuzhu (five grains) refers to the weight of the coin....
10 Ton Han Dynasty Coins Found in China
(pictures only, article linked below will not allow copy and paste)
This might be one to watch...
CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) -- Colombian President Juan Manual Santos hailed Saturday the discovery of a Spanish galleon that went down off the South American nation's coast more than 300 years ago with what may be the world's largest sunken treasure....
The discovery is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga that began three centuries ago, on June 8, 1708, when the Spanish ship with 600 people aboard sank to the bottom of the sea as it was trying to outrun a fleet of British warships. It is believed to have been carrying 11 million gold coins and jewels from then Spanish-controlled colonies that could be worth billions of dollars if ever recovered.
WATCH: Hiker In Israel Finds Rare Gold Coin Dating Back 2000 Years
The Daily Mail reports: A rare gold coin dating to the rule of emperor Trajan but bearing the face of Augustus, has been discovered by a hiker in Israel.
It suggests the ruler, known for his philanthropy and social welfare policies, was a fan of Rome’s first emperor and ordered the issue of a coin in tribute.
The golden coin, which was unearthed in the countryside of eastern Galilee, northern Israel, is 1,900 years old and the twin of an identical artefact kept in London’s British Museum.
Laurie Rimon, of Galilee Kibbutz Kefar Blum, was hiking with friends when she spotted a shiny object in the grass.
The group’s tour guide contacted the authorities, who collected the precious rare coin for analysis.
‘It was not easy parting with the coin. After all, it is not every day one discovers such an amazing object, but I hope I will see it displayed in a museum in the near future,’ Ms Rimon said.
Did ancient Rome issue commemorative coins? Gold piece unearthed in Israel from the time of Trajan bears bust of Augustus in tribute to Rome's first emperor
By GIAN VOLPICELLI and SARAH GRIFFITHS FOR MAILONLINE
A rare gold coin dating to the rule of emperor Trajan but bearing the face of Augustus, has been discovered by a hiker in Israel.
It suggests the ruler, known for his philanthropy and social welfare policies, was a fan of Rome's first emperor and ordered the issue of a coin in tribute.
The golden coin, which was unearthed in the countryside of eastern Galilee, northern Israel, is 1,900 years old and the twin of an identical artefact kept in London's British Museum.
Experts at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said the coin was minted in 107 AD under Emperor Trajan, but bears the image of Rome's first emperor Augustus who ruled between 27 BC until his death in AD 14.
This is highly unusual, as Roman emperors usually embossed with their own images on coins.
'This coin, minted in Rome in 107 AD, is rare on a global level,' said Dr. Danny Syon, an expert on coins at the IAA. It is unknown how many were originally minted.
'On the reverse we have the symbols of the Roman legions next to the name of the ruler Trajan, and on the obverse, instead of an image of the emperor Trajan, as was usually the case, there is the portrait of the emperor Augustus Deified,' he said.
'This coin is part of a series of coins minted by Trajan as a tribute to the emperors that preceded him.'
Besides being prized for its rarity, the coin could help historians understand how the Roman Empire operated in the area.
Dr Donald T Ariel, head curator of the coin department atthe IAA said: 'The coin may reflect the presence of the Roman army in the region some 2,000 years ago – possibly in the context of activity against Bar Kokhba supporters in the Galilee – but it is very difficult to determine that on the basis of a single coin.
'Historical sources describing the period note that some Roman soldiers were paid a high salary of three gold coins, the equivalent of 75 silver coins, each payday.'
'Because of their high monetary value, soldiers were unable to purchase goods in the market with gold coins, as the merchants could not provide change for them'.
Dr Ariel added: 'Whilst the bronze and silver coins of Emperor Trajan are common in the country, his gold coins are extremely rare.'
'So far, only two other gold coins of this emperor have been registered in the State Treasures, one from Giv'at Shaul near Jerusalem, and the other from the Qiryat Gat region and the details on both of them are different to those that appear on the rare coin that Laurie found'.
1,100 Year-Old Denmark Crucifix ‘May Change History’
An amateur archaeologist on the island of Funen made a startling discovery last week – a necklace resembling Jesus on the cross. But after posting a picture of the discovery on Facebook, Dennis Fabricius Holm quickly found that the item may have a lot more significance than he had initially thought.
“I finished work early last Friday, so I decided to spend a couple of hours searching with my metal detector,” Holm told national broadcaster DR.
“Suddenly I hit upon something,” continued Holm. “Ever since I turned over the clump of earth and saw the cross, I’ve been unable to think of anything else.”
Malene Refshauge Beck, archaeologist with East Funen Museums (Østfyns Museer) told DR that she agreed that the necklace is likely to prove a memorable discovery.
“This is a sensational find that dates from the first half of the 10th century BCE,” Beck told DR. “There is a near identical figure, found in Sweden, which has been dated to this period.”
The discovery of Christian artefacts from this period in Denmark is particularly remarkable as it predates the Jelling Stone, the giant carved rune stone from the year 965 that is considered to be the earliest Danish representation of Jesus on the cross.
“This figure may therefore result in us reconsidering the date Danes are believed to have become Christian,” said Beck. “The person who wore it would undoubtedly have adhered to the Christian faith.”...
Amateur Metal Detector Finds Ancient Crucifix Which May Change Historical Record
An amateur metal detector has made a discovery that experts think could change our understanding of Christianity in Denmark.
Dennis Fabricius Holm was enjoying an afternoon off work when he found a Birka crucifix pendant in a field near the town of Aunslev, Østfyn.
“I got off early on Friday, so I took just a few hours, I went around with my metal detector and then I came suddenly on something,” Mr Holm told DK.
Weighing just 13.2 grams and 4.1cm in length, the figure is made of finely articulated goldthreads and tiny fillagree pellets.
It is smooth on the reverse side but has a small eye at the top for a chain.
It was probably worn by a Viking woman.
The dating of the crucifix, estimated at being from 900 – 950AD, is significant because it would indicate Danes embraced Christianity earlier than previously thought.
At the moment, the Jelling Stones - two large runestones erected in 965AD in Jutland - are thought to be the oldest known representation of Jesus on a cross in Denmark.
Scans of King Tut's Tomb Reveal Hidden Rooms, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry Says
by CHARLENE GUBASH, CASSANDRA VINOGRAD and F. BRINLEY BRUTON
CAIRO — Radar scans of King Tut's tomb have revealed two spaces on the north and east chambers of the pharaonic mausoleum that could contain the "discovery of the century," Egypt's antiquities ministry said Thursday.
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty told a press conference that metal and organic masses were revealed by the scans, signaling that the rooms could possibly contain funerary objects.
"It could be the discovery of the century. It's very important for Egyptian history and the history of the world," he said, adding that the chambers may well have belonged to a king or queen. Further tests will be done on March 31 to discover more about the newly-discovered spaces, he added.