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300-Year-Old Spanish Shipwreck Holds Million Dollar Treasure
Saturday, 15 August 2015 18:44

Shipwreck divers have announced quite the anniversary present for the flagship of a 1715 Spanish treasure fleet, the Capitana: 52 gold coins, 40 feet of gold chain, and 110 silver coins and buttons all worth over one million dollars.

The find, made over a month ago on June 17, was kept under wraps until now. The Florida family that made the discovery, led by Eric Schmitt, wanted to wait so their announcement would coincide with the 300-year anniversary of the fleet's sinking off the coast of Florida.


Treasure Hunters Find $1M in Gold at Underwater Wreckage Site
Saturday, 15 August 2015 18:39

A family of treasure hunters struck gold off the coast of Florida.

The Schmitt family found more than $1 million worth of gold coins and chains while diving at the wreckage site of a fleet of Spanish ships.

The fleet of 11 ships sunk off the coast of Florida about 300 years ago. Six have been identified, and five more are still out there, waiting to be discovered.

Brent Brisben founded 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC, which exclusively owns the rights to dive at the wreckage site, and the Schmitt family works for him.

Brisben said that the million-dollar discovery was “a magical day" for himself and the Schmitt family.



Treasure hunters hit jackpot off Florida Coast
Friday, 02 May 2014 18:27

Treasure Hunters Find Gold Coin Trove Off Florida
Friday, 02 May 2014 18:26

In July of 1715, a fleet of 11 spanish ships departed from Havana, Cuba. A hurricane struck on July 31, and all the ships sank. Fast forward 300 years, and 48 gold coins from the fleet have been discovered off the Florida coast.


Video: Adventurous Florida Family Finds Buried Treasure
Friday, 02 May 2014 18:25
The Schmitt family found nearly a half million dollars worth of riches off the east coast of Florida

Newspaper Clippings
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 08:00
  • New Company reaps harvest of gold, silver from 1715 fleet
  • Treasure hunters find coins inside bronze cannon
  • Gold bird valued at $885K
  • Vero mother-daughter team finds gold statue from 1715 Spanish treasure
    fleet off Fort Pierce
  • Family sells rights to sunken ships
  • Area divers find gun, gold, coins from Spanich shipwreck
  • Treasure hunters find cannon in surf

    Treasure hunters find gold off coast of Indian River County
    Wednesday, 16 February 2011 07:49

    INDIAN RIVER SHORES, Fla. - Treasure hunting season is well underway in the waters off of the coast of Indian River County.

    Captain Greg Bounds, Brent Brisben, and their team of treasure hunters found a four foot cannon and 22 gold coins just off of the coast of Indian River Shores on Sunday.

    They estimate the coins are worth around $150,000 and date back to 1698. The canon is harder to estimate.

    Brisben and his father bought out part of the territory owned by famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher, the man who discovered 40 tons of silver and gold on the Atocha wreck in the 1980s.

    This is Brisben's first big find since he took over the operation. His group previously found a gold coin and gold locket.

    Finding treasure is not as easy as it might appear. Many days treasure hunters return with nothing but suntans.


    Team of treasure hunters strikes gold once again off coast of Indian River County
    Wednesday, 16 February 2011 07:45
    INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A team of treasure hunters struck gold once again Sunday off the coast of Indian River County.

    A boat crew working with Queen’s Jewels of Jupiter Island and Sebastian found 22 gold Spanish coins and a small cannon dating back some 300 years that had sunk into the sand in low-tide water between Wabasso and Vero Beach. The coins could be worth more than $176,000, said Brent Brisben, co-founder of Queen’s Jewels.

    “It’s called the Treasure Coast for a reason,” Brisben said. “It was a sight to see these guys so excited. It’s one of the best days you can have.”

    Queen’s Jewels has teamed with Capt. Greg Bounds of Fellsmere to explore the wreckage area of an 18th century Spanish fleet. Sunday, the crew used a magnetometer in the low-tide area of a beach to determine a large metal object was buried there, Brisben said. They used water pressure to burrow into the sand to find the coins and a swivel gun, which is a small cannon often mounted at the rear of the boats, Brisben said.


    Treasure within treasure: Cannon found off Sebastian contained hidden gold, silver coins
    Wednesday, 16 February 2011 07:42
      A historic bronze cannon found near Sebastian contained gold and silver coins concealed inside, treasure on its way back to Spain before the shipwreck.  PHOTO PROVIDED

    A historic bronze cannon found near Sebastian contained gold and silver coins concealed inside, treasure on its way back to Spain before the shipwreck.

    SEBASTIAN — Dozens of gold and silver coins hidden nearly 300 years ago were found Friday when a cannon recovered July 11 from a wrecked Spanish ship was being cleaned for preservation, salvagers reported this week.

    Divers from the salvage boat “Gold Hound” brought up the ship’s bronze swivel cannon, a rare find in itself, in less than 20 feet of water between Wabasso and Vero Beach, said Anne Kazel-Wilcox, a spokeswoman for 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels, a private salvage company based in Sebastian and Jupiter.

    The heavily-encrusted cannon was taken to the Mel Fisher’s Treasures facility in Sebastian for preservation, Kazel-Wilcox said, “and as workers were conserving it, the cannon became unplugged and coins were found inside.”


    Mother-daughter treasure hunters find gold
    Wednesday, 16 February 2011 07:40
    FT. PIERCE, Fla. - Bonnie Schubert and her 87-year old mother have hunted treasure for decades.

    Most days they wind up digging dozens of holes, diving in the murky water, and coming up with a fishing lure or a beer can.

    "I spent a whole season and only came up with a musket ball," says Bonnie.

    But one day this August, the Schuberts were diving near Frederick Douglass Beach in Ft. Pierce when they made the find of their lives.

    "The first thing that came into focus was the head of the bird and the wing…and it was something I never imagined...just didn’t expect at all.." recalls Bonnie.

    They discovered a 22-carat solid gold bird, a relic which they believe dates back to the lost Spanish Fleet of 1715. 

    The fleet of Spanish galleons wrecked near Ft. Pierce, littering the ocean floor with what divers believe to be millions of dollars in gold and jewels.

    "It’s truly been amazing. It’s not something we could have ever predicted," said Brent Brisabane, a principal with 1715 Fleet-Queen's Jewels, LLC, the corporation that holds the rights to treasure hunting in the region.



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