Treasure hunters discovered $4.5 million in gold coins off the Florida coast last month, including several which were minted for the king of Spain, Philip V, in the early 1700s, according to Florida Today.
The July 30 and 31 finds were made off the coast of Vero Beach were not announced until Wednesday by Bret Brisben, captain of the S/V Capitana. Brisben and his crew claimed to have found 350 gold coins, nine of which – called Royals – are worth $300,000 each.
The coins were aboard the 1715 Fleet shipwreck. Their discovery was made on the 300th anniversary of that July 30, 1715 tragedy. An entire fleet of 11 ships were lost when they were traveling from Havana to Spain after it got swept up in hurricane conditions. More than 1,000 people perished in the tragedy.
“It’s been magical,” Brisben told CBS This Morning. “What’s amazing about this is we found it on the actual anniversary. We found over 230 gold coins on the 30th, and the hurricane started on the evening of the 30th (in 1715).” Brisben knows everyone loves treasure stories.
“It resonates with everybody — every demographic, young and old, rich and poor,” Brisben told the newspaper. “People freak out that we’re literally 10-15 feet off the beach in 2-3 feet of water.”
The State of Florida is entitled to 20% of the recovered artifacts in order to display in its Tallahassee Museum. Brisben’s most recent discovery comes but one month after a subcontractor of his, Eric Schmitt, discovered 52 gold coins worth in excess of $1 million. Schmitt discovered the gold just 150 feet off the coast of Fort Pierce Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel.