Treasure Hunters Find $4.5M in Gold Coins Off Beach

Some people have the best jobs
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2015 4:30 PM CDT
Treasure Hunters Find $4.5M in Gold Coins Off Beach
Brent Brisben displays a Royal worth an estimated $500,000 during a July press conference in Florida.   (Sam Wolfe/The Press-Journal via AP)

Three-hundred years to the day after a hurricane sank 11 treasure-laden ships off the Florida coast, treasure hunters found 350 gold coins worth an estimated $4.5 million, Florida Today reports. Brent Brisben, captain of the salvage ship that found the sunken treasure, tells CBS News the timing was "magical" and "surreal." A lot more people might call it lucky. Brisben and his crew found the booty July 30 and July 31 off the coast of Vero Beach in just six feet of water. "People freak out that we're literally 10 to 15 feet of the beach," Brisben tells the Florida newspaper. The state will claim 20% of the treasure's value, leaving Brisben and his crew to divide up the remaining millions.

The New York Post reports Brisben's find has some extra historic value, as it includes nine coins known as Royals, which were made for the king of Spain and are worth about $300,000 each. Only 20 Royals were previously known to exist, and CBS reports it's been 17 years since any were found. It's been a big year for Florida treasure hunters; in June a family contracting for Brisben found $1 million worth. But there's some bad news for all of us planning on quitting our jobs to take up treasure hunting: Brisben owns exclusive salvage rights to the shipwreck site. (More treasure hunters stories.)

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