A magnificent emerald and gold ring was uncovered today from the most valuable shipwreck ever recovered; the Nuestra Senora de Atocha.
Key West, FL June 23, 2011 – 35 miles West of Key West, Florida on the shipwreck site of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha a large emerald and gold ring along with two silver spoons and two more silver objects were uncovered by Mel Fisher’s Treasures salvage vessel JB Magruder and her crew: Captain Andy Matroci and crewmembers Tim Meade, Bill Burt, Bill Reighard.
The gold portion of the ring has an ornate design carved into its exterior. Inside the ring, just beneath the emerald, initials that appear to read VRC can be seen carved into the gold.
This is the largest emerald box ring to be recovered from the Atocha.
Within a few feet of this rare find divers also discovered two silver spoons along with two other silver encrusted objects which will be examined once all of the artifacts arrive in the conservation lab at Mel Fisher’s Treasures.
Captain Andy Matroci explains, “These artifacts were recovered within 300 feet of where the gold rosary and gold bar were found earlier this year. It is exciting because we are moving into virgin territory, an area of the Atocha Trail that has never been worked.“
Sean Fisher, Vice President of Mel Fisher’s Treaures, was on board when the ring was discovered and says, “This is the most significant artifact I have personally seen them bring out of the water.”
The nature of the artifact is very encouraging in the search for the remaining half of the Atocha. These types of ornate artifacts were likely owned by a member of aristocracy and would have been stored in the Sterncastle of the ship.
Gold reacts very little with salt water however the conservation process will be completed meticulously.
Mel Fisher’s Treasures has been working the shipwreck site of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha since 1969 and to date half a billion dollars in historic artifacts, gold, silver and emeralds have been recovered. The historic shipwreck salvage company operates an ongoing search for the other half sunken galleon known as the Sterncastle. This rear portion of the ship is where the wealthiest passengers stayed including members of nobility and clergy. It is estimated that the remaining wealth will total over a half a billion dollars.