Atocha Shipwreck

The Santa Margarita The sister ship of the Atocha, the Santa Margarita was part of the 1622 Tierra Firme that left Havana, Cuba on its way back to Spain on September 4, 1622 during the height of hurricane season. Sinking of Atocha In addition to a fortune’s worth of gold and silver bars, coins and jewelry, the bounty recovered from Atocha included emeralds traced to a mine in Colombia, along with items. Mel Fisher's Treasures is the source for authentic shipwreck treasure and one-of-a-kind treasure jewelry. Come to the source for your authentic Atocha coin. Use code LOVEGOLD for 35% OFF or LOVESILVER for 20% OFF on gold and silver Fisher Family Collection Login / Register.

  1. Atocha Shipwreck Value
  2. Atocha Shipwreck Story
  3. Atocha Shipwreck Jewelry

Nuestra Senora de Atocha and her sister ship the Santa Margarita sailed from Havana to their final resting place at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Key West. An exciting adventure story of the search and discovery of what is proving to be the most fabulous treasure wreck of.

On this same day, 35 years ago, the legendary deep-sea explorer Mel Fisher discovered the shipwreck of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha. The galleon was sailing from the new world to Spain. It was hit by a hurricane and sank in 1622. 260 people lost their lives in this accident. Only five survived by climbing the mizzen, which remained above the water.

Senora de Atocha was loaded with several precious items. But what makes this ship so special is that it contained 40 tons of gold and silver and around 70 pounds of Colombian emeralds, some of the finest and most expensive in the world.

Spanish salvors tried and failed to recover this precious cargo because the hatches were locked tight. A second hurricane further destroyed the shipwreck and it was lost without a trace.

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In 1969, more than 300 years later, Mel Fisher started looking for Atocha’s treasure. This mission was lengthy and dangerous. A few finds along the way convinced him that he is getting closer to the great discovery. The crew found some silver bars in 1973; their tally marks matched Atocha’s paperwork. Two years later, they found five of the galleon’s cannons. In 1980, they discovered the wreck of the Santa Margarita (Atocha’s sister ship).

Image courtesy Paul Hermans

Three members of his crew (a diver, his son, and his wife) lost their lives during this quest when their boat capsized. The treasure hunter was shaken but he didn’t lose hope and he knew that the lost teammates would have wanted the expedition to resume. He always kept saying “Today’s the day!”.

In addition to the previous difficulties, the treasure hunter has to fight a court battle against the state of Florida who wanted ownership or at least a percentage of the treasure. The US Supreme Court ruled in his favor.

On July 20, 1985 - 35 years ago today - Mel Fisher discovered the shipwreck of the Nuestra Senora De Atocha off the Florida Keys. The cargo’s value is estimated to be worth around $400 million. The treasure includes 24 tons of silver bullion, ingots, and coins, 125 gold bars and discs and 1,200 pounds silverware. Other items with great historical importance were recovered, like 20 bronze cannons, navigational instruments and Native American artifacts. This is why it was declared the most valuable shipwreck in the world by the Guinness world record in 2014.

Atocha Shipwreck

Atocha Shipwreck Value

One of the most well-known items in this treasure is the “money chain.” It is a gold chain that hangs past the waist. Mel Fisher wore it when he appeared on the “The Tonight Show” hosted by Johnny Carson. This chain alone is estimated to be worth $100,000. The treasure wasn’t entirely sold. Some of the artifacts are displayed at Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida.

Atocha Shipwreck Story

Alex Lemaire is passionate about inland and underwater treasure hunting, and he believes that his hobby is an amazing way to learn more about the history of humanity.

Atocha Shipwreck Jewelry

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.