Divers Recover $1M Treasure From Florida Shipwreck

By August 12, 2015 Article, Technology No Comments

What a find! Divers recover treasure from a Florida shipwreck, valued at $1 million. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at this exciting news.

In July 1715, a fleet of 12 Spanish ships headed from the country’s colonies to Spain. All but one sank off Florida during a brutal hurricane. The vessels were transporting precious resources, including silver and gold, at the time of the sinking. Though much of the sunken cargo had been recovered by Spain, it is believed that the seabed is still home to plenty of treasure – including hundreds of thousands of coins and possibly the queen’s jewels – estimated to be valued at $440 million.

This year marks the 300th anniversary of fleet’s sinking, and with this historic milestone comes an equally epic announcement – a haul worth at least a million dollars.

A Florida-based company, 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels, LLC, reportedly has rights to 5 of the 11 shipwrecks, which they have been working on since 2010. They do both direct and subcontracted treasure hunting. Among their subcontractors is a family of treasure hunters headed by Eric Schmitt.

Eric Schmitt and the crew of the Aarrr Booty had made their staggering find as early as mid-June, but waited for the anniversary to make the announcement. The treasure was recovered from shallow waters – beneath just 15 feet, 305 meters off Fort Pierce, Florida. The haul included 110 silver coins and buttons, 40 feet of gold chain, and 52 gold coins… one of which is a particularly rare and prized piece, the Tricentennial Royal, valued at more than $500,000.

Finds like the one above are governed by rules on how the haul’s value is divided. Basically, Florida State is entitled to 20% of the treasure, and they are allowed to examine recovered artifacts and request the Court for items intended for museums. What is left will be split between the finders, in this case the Schmitts, and the company they are subcontracted to.

If you are interested what is going on in and around the maritime industry, explore Kemplon Engineering’s blog for more articles like this. You are also welcome to look over our website and learn more about the services we provide for our marine and industrial customers. We have a wide range of engineering capabilities, as well as a dedicated team of skilled professionals eager to help you find solutions for your projects. From welding and fabrication, precision machining, pipe fitting, laser cutting, and more, Kemplon Engineering just might have what you need. Contact us for queries and quotes at info@kemplon.com, or by phone at (877) 522-6526.


Lee, Jane J. “300-Year-Old Spanish Shipwreck Holds Million Dollar Treasure.” National Geographic, 28 Jul 2015. Web. 10 Aug 2015. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150728-gold-coin-treasure-spanish-shipwreck-florida-ocean-archaeology/

Lewis, Danny. “Florida Divers Dig Up $1 Million in Sunken Treasure.” Smithsonian.com, 30 Jul 2015. Web. 10 Aug 2015. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/divers-dig-1-million-sunken-treasure-180956112/?no-ist

“Spanish Booty Found Off Florida.” The Maritime Executive, 28 Jul 2015. Web. 10 Aug 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/spanish-booty-found-off-florida

Stone, Maddie. “A Spanish Coin Worth $500,000 Was Just Found In a Florida Shipwreck.” Gizmodo, 28 Jul 2015. Web. 10 Aug 2015. http://gizmodo.com/a-spanish-coin-worth-500-000-was-just-found-in-a-flori-1720714448