$1M worth of gold coins and jewelry found from the 1715 shipwreck by the Florida family of treasure hunters

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First things first, you need to take a seat before you read this. Remember the wreckage of 1715 Spanish fleet? As many as 1,000 lives were lost in the maritime disaster that struck July 31, 1715. The sinking of 11 of 12 galleons brought down by a hurricane off the coast of Florida as the convoy was sailing from Havana to Spain.

A family recovered more than $1million in precious artifacts from the wreckage. Daily Mail reported that Eric Schmitt professionally hunts for treasure with his relatives off their salvage vessel Aarrr Booty. He found and brought to the surface the pieces off Fort Pierce in June. The massively impressive haul included 51 gold coins of various denominations and 40 feet of ornate gold chain.

Precious: A rare 'Tricentennial Royal' gold coin found in June in the wreckage of a 1715 Spanish fleet that sunk in the Atlantic off the Florida coast 

A rare ‘Tricentennial Royal’ gold coin was found in June in the 1715 wreckage a Spanish fleet

The fleet was under the command of Capitan-General Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla. His flagship, the Capitana, were carrying 3.5million pesos in gold and jewelry, including the property of the Queen of Spain. Eric Schmitt found the artifacts in 15 feet of water off Fort Pierce, approximately 130 miles north of Miami. The cargo is valued today to about $400million, from which $175million has been recovered.
In 2010, his company bought the rights to the site from heirs of the legendary treasure hunter Mel Fisher and the firm allows others, including the Schmitts, to search under subcontract agreements.

The discovery came within weeks of the 300th anniversary of the sinking of the 11-ship Spanish fleet off the central Florida coast after getting caught in a hurricane during a voyage from Havana to Spain

Eric Schmitt, second from left, at a press conference in Sebastian, Florida on Tuesday.  Lindsay Schmitt, his wife, stands at left and Brent Brisben, the owner of 1715 Fleet - Queens Jewels stands at right. Sister Hillary Schmitt, is second from right

Eric Schmitt, can be seen, second from left, at a press conference in Sebastian, Florida on Tuesday. Lindsay Schmitt, his wife, stands at left and Brent Brisben, the owner of 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels stands at right. Sister Hillary Schmitt, is second from right.

Eric Schmitt

A gold coin from the 1715 fleet

Doomed armada: Friday marks the 300th anniversary of the sinking of 11 of 12 galleons brought down by a hurricane off the coast of Florida as the convoy was sailing from Havana to Spain

This Friday, it will be the 300th anniversary of the sinking of 11 of 12 galleons.

Florida will take possession of up to 20 per cent of the find for display in a state museum. Brisben’s company and the Schmitt family will split the reminder of the haul. The Schmitt family have been chipping away at the sunken 1715 treasure for the past two years. Eric Schmitt recovered the missing piece of a 300-year-old gold filigree necklace called Pyx last July. It was sacred to Spanish priests.

Family business: Eric Schmitt (right) - along with with his sister Hillary (left), father Rick (center) and other family members runs a diving salvage company named Booty Salvage

Eric Schmitt (right) – along with with his sister Hillary (left), father Rick (center)

Last July, Eric Schmitt recovered the missing piece of a 300-year-old gold filigree necklace called Pyx

In 2002, the young diver came upon a 300-year-old Mexican silver platter

 

In 2002, Eric Schmitt the young diver came upon a 300-year-old Mexican silver platter.

Schmitt told CBS News,

The more we do this, the bigger the finds we make, so I kind of less believe in luck and more believe in our hard work.

Here’s the video.

You can read the full story at Daily Mail

All the images as well information sourced from Daily Mail

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