INDIAN RIVER SHORES, Fla. — A trove of Spanish coins dating back to a 1715 shipwreck during a storm have been found along a beach in Florida. CBS affiliate WPEC-TV reported that 43-year-old treasure hunter Jonah Martinez located the coins using a metal detector. He was able to dig out 22 silver coins he estimates are worth about $6,000.
Twelve Spanish galleons laden with treasures from the New World were bound for Spain on July 31, 1715, but 11 were lost during a hurricane off the coast of Florida. Most of the treasure lies beneath the ocean.
Jonah Martinez was able to dig out 22 silver coins.
Florida law requires recovery permits for individuals who want to explore or recover artifacts on state-owned lands underwater, but not on a public beach.
Martinez has been waving his metal detector across the shoreline in South Florida for the past 24 years. He said he has no intent to sell or polish the coins but will keep them with others of his other historic finds.”This is our history out here,” he told WPEC. “We are not trying to profit out here, we are just collecting pieces of history. That’s cool if you ask me.”