Deep-sea explorers said Friday they have mined what could be the richest shipwreck treasure in history, bringing home 17 tons of colonial-era silver and gold coins from an undisclosed site in the Atlantic Ocean. Estimated value: USD $500 million i.e. half billion USD.
The richest ever shipwreck haul was yielded by the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank in a hurricane off the Florida Keys in 1622. Treasure-hunting pioneer Mel Fisher found it in 1985, retrieving a reported $400 million in coins and other loot.
A lot of the details are still being kept secret, but they have the coins in hand and the haul appears to have come from just off the UK coast.
It is believed that this recovery constitutes the largest collection of coins ever excavated from a historical shipwreck site. They were recovered in conformity with Salvage Law and the Law of the Sea Convention, beyond the territorial waters or legal jurisdiction of any country. The Company does not believe that the recovery is subject to sovereign immunity by any nation pursuant to the Law of the Sea Convention.
The work accomplished to date on this site has diligently followed archaeological protocols using advanced robotic technology, and the artifacts are now undergoing a meticulous conservation process by some of the world's most experienced coin conservators.