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Fun on Friday: Treasure Hunt

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When I walk the beach, I look for sharks’ teeth. Over the years, I’ve developed a pretty good eye for them. In fact, I’ve filled an entire lamp with sharks’ teeth.

Not too long ago, I was walking the beach with my son and there were no sharks’ teeth to be found. Frustrated, I told Brendan that I was going to change my strategy. Instead of looking for sharks’ teeth, I’m going to look for gold coins.

In his typical deadpan, Brendan said, “Good luck with that.”

So far, I haven’t found any gold.

But it is out there.

In fact, a diver searching a famous shipwreck off Key West recently found a gold coin.

Zach Moore was searching with an underwater metal detector when he discovered the coin in about 30 feet of water.

The Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha sank about in a hurricane about 35 miles off the coast of Key West in 1622. This was the first time in 20 years that gold has been discovered in the area.

Moore said the glint of gold was unmistakable.

“I fanned away some sand while working the crease of the hole, between the sand and the bedrock bottom, and it was just sort of stuck partway in the bedrock, shining as brightly as it had 400 years ago.”

The coin is valued at $98,000, according to Mel Fisher’s Treasures team.

It is only the 121st gold coin recovered from the wreck. While there was plenty of gold and other treasure on the ship, there were few coins. In fact, there were no gold coins on the manifest, but coins were likely carried (or smuggled) aboard the galleon by wealthy aristocrats or clergymen.

Divers also found two silver coins during the expedition.

Nobody knows how much treasure could remain underwater in the area.

Treasure hunting is in Moore’s blood. His parents were both a part of “the golden crew” that discovered the $400 million mother lode of Nuestra Senora de Atocha treasure on July 20, 1985. Zach told KeysWeekly that during one dive in 1985,  his father and others found 165 pounds of gold finger bars, chains and discs. His mother Julie Moore was also a diver on the Atocha site during the mother lode days and recovered several Atocha emeralds.

So, despite my son’s skepticism, looking for gold on the beach isn’t unreasonable, right? And it’s certainly more lucrative than sharks’ teeth.

I’ll let you know what I find!

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. I dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals (however loosely) and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The opinions expressed are my own. They are 100% correct – but not necessarily shared by anybody else here – including Peter Schiff. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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