Divers have discovered an antique emerald ring worth $500,000 while searching for a sunken Spanish frigate off the coast of Florida.
The gold piece of jewellery is thought to have come from the ill-fated Nuestra Senora de Atocha that sank off the Florida Keys 400 years ago.
It was found by one of the diving team about 35 miles off the coast of Key West and is set to earn them a fortune.
The ancient gold ring with a rectangular cut emerald is believed to come from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha.
The emerald in the middle is 2.7cm by 2.5cm and has initials engraved on it. Similar jewels found from the Atocha have gone for $500,000.
The diving team was from Mel Fisher’s Treasures which has plundered $450million worth of goods from the vessel over the last few decades.
A dive team aboard the Magruder salvage ship discovered the ring in about 30 feet of water close to where the Atocha sank.
The find is the biggest this year and amongst the largest to be pulled from the ship.
It was in 1622 that the Atocha went down in a hurricane as it tried to return to Spain laden with jewels, gold, silver and indigo – the fruits of an Empire plundering the New World. Nuestra Senora de Atocha sank in 1622 off the coast of Florida.
All 265 crew died apart from three sailors and two slaves who managed to jump out before it went under.
Spanish salvage crews tried to find the wreck but another hurricane came through and scattered its treasures over a larger area – until Mr Fisher came along.
He has been hunting its treasures for the last 40 years and has pulled in more than $450million worth that he won the right to keep after a test case in the U.S. Supreme Court. Divers also plucked two silver spoons from the wreckage.
His haul includes more than 100,000 Spanish silver and Colombian emeralds and a 40-inch rosary.
Aside from the emerald ring, the latest find included two silver spoons and other artifacts.
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H/T: Daniel Bates of The Daily Mail