Ornate Gold Chalice Update!!
The Gold Chalice has proven to be more breathtaking than anyone could have imagined. Senior Conservator at Mel Fisher's Treasures, John Corcoran, has begun the initial stages of the conservation process. By gently removing the calcareous concretion he has revealed a solid gold piece so beautiful it is nearly impossible to believe it tumbled around the ocean for nearly 400 years. The rim is etched with scrollwork and there is a crest in the center of the chalice that remains in pristine condition. The gold shines radiantly with a deep hue and is believed to be of a high karat. The next steps include analyses from archaeologists Dr. R. Duncan Mathewson III and James Sinclair including collaboration with Cory Malcome and Monica Brook of the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society. Collectively they will likely be able to determine the meaning of the markings and quite possibly, due to the crest, who originally owned this magnificent piece. Be sure to check back for updates on this incredibly rare piece of history.



Senior Conservator John Corcorn removes the chalice from its wet storage container.
He then places it in an extremely diluted solution of hydrochloric acid which dissolves the calcareous concretion that has built up over 400 years on the ocean floor.
This gold piece had more concretion than the usual amount likely due to the shallow waters of the wreck site which cause bottom to be stirred up during storms thus moving the artifacts.
After the calcareous concretion is removed the chalice was placed in a water and sodium bicarbonate solution for several hours in order to stabilize the acid.
Detailed scrollwork adorns the rim.
A portion of a tax stamp can be seen on the edge of the base.
A coat of arms can be clearly seen in the center of the chalice.
Another Tax stamp is present on the bottom of the cup.
The base is threaded onto the main portion of the chalice.
It turns as if it were just made yesterday.



The gold chalice after cleaning. It is in remarkable condition. Photos by Ron Pierson


 
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