Treasure Hunters Unearth 22 Spanish Coins From 1715 Shipwreck on Florida Beach

Viktoria Hrekova, iStock via Getty Images
Viktoria Hrekova, iStock via Getty Images / Viktoria Hrekova, iStock via Getty Images

In 1715, a hurricane slammed a fleet of 11 Spanish ships onto a reef off the Florida shoreline. The area is known as the Treasure Coast today, and about $5000 worth of coins from the shipwrecks were recently recovered there, NBC 2 reports.

A group of three friends was scouring Turtle Trail Beach in Indian River County with metal detectors when they stumbled upon the haul. They dug up 22 silver coins believed to date back to the 18th century and found other miscellaneous artifacts from the doomed trade ships.

Coins from the wrecked fleet were first found on the Treasure Coast in the late 1950s, and there's likely more treasure buried beneath the sand waiting to be discovered. A permit is required to claim artifacts that are underwater on state-owned property in Florida, but treasure-hunting on a public beach is fair game.

The team behind this new find has dug up plenty of interesting items in the past. Their previous discoveries include belt buckles, daggers, fine dishware, and cuff links. Jonah Martinez, one of the treasure hunters, once found $6.5 million worth of gold coins.

Though their haul is likely worth thousands, the group doesn't plan to polish the coins and sell them. Instead, they will either keep them in their personal collections or donate them to a museum.

[h/t NBC 2]