A family in Florida discovered a sunken treasure worth more than $300,000 of the coast of Fort Pierce this week.
The treasure was found about 150 yards off of the coast and about 15 feet below the surface. The Schmitt family discovered 64 feet of gold chain, five gold coins and a gold ring. The treasure has an estimated value of about $300,000.
Rick Schmitt said: “This is like the end of a dream.”
Fox News reports that the gold is about 300 years old and came from one of 11 Spanish ships that sank near Fort Pierce in 1715 after a hurricane. The ships were reportedly carrying more than $400 million worth of treasure when they sank and only about $175 million of that has been found.
The area, which is known as “Treasure Coast,” has been the setting for movies like Fools Gold and The Deep.
Fox News reports that Rick, his wife Lisa, and their two children Hilary and Eric have been searching for treasure for years. They’ve found treasure in the past (in 2002 they found a $25,000 silver platter) but this is by far their biggest find.
Brent Brisben, whose company 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC owns the rights to the wreckage, said: “What’s really neat about them [Schmitt family] is they are a family, they spend family time together out there and the most amazing part about them is they always believed this day would come.”
USA Today notes that 20% of the treasure will go to the state of Florida and will likely be placed in a museum. The rest will be split between the Schmitt family and Brisben’s company.