Florida treasure hunters amazed by discovery in 300-year-old shipwrecks: ‘You don’t expect that’

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Florida treasure hunters amazed by discovery in 300-year-old shipwrecks: ‘You don’t expect that’

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A group of Florida-based treasure hunters recently recovered hundreds of coins from a fleet of 300-year-old shipwrecks off the Atlantic coast this week. 

One of the divers called the find late last month “almost numbing.” 

“You don’t expect that,” boat captain Grant Gitschlag told FOX 35 on Friday. “You always hope for it, but you never expect it.” 

Fellow treasure hunter Corinne Lea agreed that it wasn’t expected “at all,” but that’s “how the greatest finds come about.”

TREASURE TROVE DATING BACK CENTURIES PULLED FROM SHIPWRECK 5,000 FEET UNDERWATER

The treasure hunters were shocked to uncover so many coins from the shipwrecks since the 1715 Treasure Fleet had been salvaged for decades.  (1715 Fleet Queen’s Jewels LLC via FOX 35)

Finding the 214 coins and other artifacts they salvaged from the Spanish shipwrecks known as the 1715 Treasure Fleet, is rare, they explained, because they have been salvaged for decades. 

“To get this kind of quantity in a period of a couple of days, is a very exciting start,” Gitschlag told the station. 

Rings previously salvaged from the shipwrecks

Rings previously salvaged from the 1715 Treasure Fleet.  (1715 Fleet Queen’s Jewels LLC via FOX 35)

ANCIENT TREASURE AMONG 1,650-YEAR-OLD OBJECTS UNEARTHED IN ISRAEL

The group contracts with Sal Guttuso, who owns 1715 Fleet Queen’s Jewels LLC, the exclusive salvor of the shipwrecks and the U.S. District Court’s custodian. 

Coins salvaged from the shipwrecks

Coins salvaged from the shipwrecks are covered in 300 years’ worth of sand and shells. (1715 Fleet Queen’s Jewels LLC via FOX 35)

The hunters are now working on cleaning 300 years of sea dust off of the coins to make them shine once again and then are ready to head back out to see what else is waiting for them.

The fleet set sail for Spain from Cuba in July 1715 loaded with cargo and treasure from the New World, but much of the fleet sank during a hurricane a week later, according to the 1715 Fleet Queen’s Jewels LLC. 

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It’s the find. It’s all about the find,” Lea said. “I love the history, being the first person up in 309 years to find what was once lost in a tragedy.”

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