The Schmitts, a treasure hunting family from Florida, found gold artifacts worth more than $1 million at 15 feet below the surface of the ocean.
Eric Schmitt didn’t have any expectations of finding gold when his metal detector came across the treasure. He gave a statement explaining that metal detectors often sound the alarm but the findings mostly include beer cans or lead fishing weights.
But last month he found more than 50 gold coins and 12 meters (40 feet) of ornate gold chain, collectively worth more than $1 million. They all came from a Spanish shipwreck dating back to 1715, with the main attraction being an extremely rare coin referred to by experts as the “Tricentennial Royal”.
Eric Schmitt, 27 year old son of treasure hunters Rick and Lisa, informed that “These things were known as presentation pieces not meant to be circulated as currency”. He went on to add that the Tricentennial Royal is said to be worth roughly $500.000 all on its own.
Brent Brisben, co-founder of the company that holds the rights for diving at the site where Eric found the gold (1715 Fleet Queens Jewels LLC), gave a statement of his own explaining that the high value of the coin comes not only from the fact that the artifact is extremely rare (only six of them are known to exist in the world), but also only from the fact that the young treasure hunter found it almost perfect condition.
Brisben called the Tricentennial Royal “incredibly rare and incredibly valuable” and mentioned that “It returned from the depths [of the ocean] on its 300th birthday”.
Eric found the treasure close to Fort Pierce while he was on a treasure hunting trip that he takes with his family (his wife, his parents and his sister) on a yearly basis. He credits GPS technology as a great help in finding the treasure and stresses that it took a lot of hard work to finally find it.
He said that for him and his family treasure hunting is definitely a passion, but you have to really want to do this kind of work as the days are often long and exhausting.
This is not the first time that the Schmitt family has made a big discovery as they’ve been in the media for the past two (2) summers with their discovery of handcrafted gold-filigree pyx and their discovery of solid gold chains. But this is by far the most valuable haul they’ve come across so far.
Eric shared that he just found what every treasure hunter dreams of finding – a royal coin, a presentation piece. He was talking of course about the above mentioned Tricentennial Royal. He considers himself lucky as there are people that have been looking for such a treasure for 40 or 50 years and have yet to find one.
When the Schmitts go treasure hunting, they place large aluminum tubs over the boat’s propellers to help direct the thrust from the engines toward the bottom of the sea and they focus on an area that’s 1.000 feet offshore.
It’s worth mentioning that 20 percent (20%) of the rarest treasures found by the family goes to the state and ends up being displayed in various museums. The other 80 percent (80%) is left for the Schmitt family to split with Brisben’s company.
Image Source: citizentv.co.ke