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Gold coins and more in recent salvage at site of 1715 Treasure Fleet wrecks

COIN WORLD | By Joe O’Donnell | July 28, 2015

Video: Treasue unters find sunken Spanish Gold
Video: Treasue unters find sunken Spanish Gold

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Recovery occurrs approximately 30 miles north of West Palm Beach

More than 50 gold coins and 40 feet of gold chain have been pulled up from the site of the 1715 Treasure Fleet shipwrecks off the coast of Florida, according to CBS News.

CBS quoted the salvage company, Queens Jewels LLC, in reporting that the items were located in shallow waters approximately 30 miles north of West Palm Beach, Fla. In all, 51 gold coins were recovered: 17 8-escudo coins, 22 2-escudo coins, and 12 1-escudo coins.

Gannett’s Florida Today reports that there was also a coin known as a “Royal” included in the find, specifically made for the king of Spain at the time, Phillip V.

The discovery was actually made about a month ago by the Schmitt family, according to Florida Today, who are subcontractors for Queen Jewels. The announcement of the news was delayed so as to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the shipwrecks.

The 1715 Treasure Fleet was a group of 12 treasure-carrying Spanish galleons bound from Havana to Spain, where the gold they contained would be used to support the Spanish crown, according to Queens Jewels LLC’s website. On July 30, 1715, a hurricane wrecked 11 of the 12 ships off the coast of Florida, as they were heading up the Bahama Channel. More than 1,000 sailors died.

While much of the treasure was recovered soon after the wrecks, Queens Jewels states that it believes that more than $550 million worth of gold remains unrecovered.