A Florida family on a leisure trip off of central Florida’s east coast found treasure in a shipwreck that is 300-years-old. According to MSN, Eric Schmitt, a professional salvager, was scavenging with his parents when he found the crumpled, square-shaped ornament on a leisure trip to hunt for artifacts in the wreckage of a convoy of 11 ships that sank in 1715 during a hurricane off central Florida’s east coast.
The discovery was actually made last month and according to the Chicago Tribune, Spanish historians took a look at the piece and realized it belonged to another artifact scavenged from the same wreckage 25 years ago. The artifact is a gold accessory called a pyx, worn on a chain around a high priest’s neck to carry the communion host. According to New Advent, the word pyx was formerly applied in a wide and general sense to all vessels used to contain the Blessed Eucharist. The containers were made of a variety of materials and could be as unique as the priest himself. This makes the Schmitt family treasure find all the more exciting to Spanish historians.
Brent Brisben the operations manager for 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels, which owns rights to the wreckage where the treasure was found. Brisben notes that the price value on the artifact is unknown, but that the piece is “priceless”:
“It’s priceless, unique, one of a kind.”
You may now be wondering who gets to keep the “priceless” treasure since the 1715 Fleet- Queens Jewels owns the rights to the wreckage. First the State of Florida takes the treasure and will keep up to 20 percent of the estimated value of the piece, the remaining balance is split between the scavenger who found the piece and the owner of the wreckage rights.
The Schmitt family may have been on a leisure trip, but they are no amateur treasure hunters. The Schmitt family, who lives near Orlando, last year discovered about $300,000 worth of gold coins and chains from the same wreckage, Brisben said. Schmitt’s parents have hunted for sunken treasure as a hobby for a decade. In fact, they have their own treasure hunting business called Booty Salvage according to the Science World Report.
Lisa Schmitt said the “priceless” pyx was “our follow-up to our big find,” referring to the $300,000 gold coin find previously.
The family is still waiting for an official pricetag to be placed on the 300-year-old sunken treasure. How much do you think the gold treasure will appraise at?
[Image Credit: Telegraph]