Treasure-Hunter Finds $250,000 in Gold Off Florida Coast

Well-known shipwreck salvage company 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels, LLC has announced the discovery of a few dozen gold coins just off the Florida coast. The coins, known as escudos, are believed to be part of the treasure left in the ocean on July 31, 1715 when 11 Spanish ships sank during a vicious hurricane.

The coins, amazingly enough, were found in shallow water just 100 feet from the beach. While most of us are overjoyed to find a $20 bill in the small front pocket of our jeans that we wear regularly, finding a quarter-million dollars worth of gold coins within swimming distance of the beach is another ballgame.

“Most days we’re out there are extremely long, extremely hot, and extremely tedious,” company owner Brett Brisben told TIME. “Days like these are not nearly as common and make all those hard miserable days worth it.”

Bisben and his crew of three set out to explore the famous wreck site with the hopes of finding something, anything, that could validate their extensive research. What they found were 48 (so far, more coins could be in the area) gold coins native to Spain and known as escudos. The coins are apparently still in decent condition and the markings indicate that the coins were minted between 1697 and 1714.

While the coins have been appraised at $250,000 and could sell for more at auction, there is no telling how many coins are still in the area and the company plans more expeditions in the near future. If you are interested in owning some old gold coins of your own, however, you may be better off financially buying pre-1900 gold coins from rather than starting a salvage operation of your own, because such finds are truly once in a lifetime.

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