People have always had pipe dreams and desires about sunken treasure and finding it. The thoughts of pirates burying their loot have been played out in literature, movies, and fantasies for centuries. While it might not seem like it, Florida is actually one of those perfect spots for treasure hunting and it’s been paying off. This has been quite the month for Florida and the treasure hunters who dive its coasts in the search of ancient artifacts that can be sold for lots of money. Under a month ago, it was announced that the Schmitt family had found treasure that is worth $1 million. And now, a man named Brent Brisben has announced that he has found sunken treasure that is worth $4.5 million.
So why is Florida such a hot spot for sunken treasure with massive payoffs? Florida used to be owned by the Spanish Empire during the height of its power. The Spanish used to send massive treasure fleets to all of their colonial holdings to pick up gold, silver, and the various spices and other luxury goods the colonies produced before traversing the globe to Spain itself. Due to the dangerous nature of ocean travel at the time, many of these treasure ships were lost off the coast of Florida, leading to a literal wealth of treasure that is up for the finding.
Brisben and his crew just happened to come across one of those wrecked ships and it has paid off. They found over 300 coins that have a combined value of around $4.5 million, a massive haul for such a small find. The coins are linked to a treasure fleet of 11 Spanish ships that had left Havana for Spain before being sunk on July 24th, 1715 with all hands lost — over 1,000 people died. Brisben owns the exclusive salvage rights to the ships that sunk during the 1715 hurricane but even he didn’t expect a haul like this. Luckily for him, he was also part of the earlier Schmitt haul (they had contracted his company), leading to the possibility that the ships he has salvage rights for having even more treasure waiting to be found.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.