Dozens of gold and silver coins were recently discovered inside a bronze swivel cannon recovered from a nearly 300 year-old Spanish shipwreck off the east coast of Florida.
Though divers from the salvage boat the “Gold Hound” were excited to find the cannon in such good shape, the real excitement set it once workers who were conserving the heavily-encrusted cannon unplugged it to reveal the treasure inside.
25 gold coins and 63 silver coins were found inside the cannon, estimated to be worth more than $500,000. In addition to the coins found within the cannon, 22 gold coins were found adjacent to its resting place.
Greg Bounds, the captain of the Gold Hound, said “[this] is an amazing historic find. We found treasure within the treasure. This is right out of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ except this is the real thing. For centuries there has been talk of treasure possibly hidden inside of cannons, but up until today that was only pirate lore. Now it’s the real deal.”
The wreck was part of a fleet of 11 galleons and war ships laden with gold bars, coins, diamonds, emeralds and pearls headed from Havana for King Philip V of Spain. The ship in which the cannon was found sank during a hurricane on July 31, 1715.
According to Florida law, the state gets 20 percent of the find off the top. The rest is split 50/50 between 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels (the private salvage company which holds salvage rights to the fleet) and the subcontractors who found it.