Latest News

    The World's Oldest Dive Bell?

    Diving the depths to recover lost fortunes is actually not that new. For centuries man has longed to explore the underwater world. Recently, a find from Mel Fisher's salvages of the Santa Margarita has captured the interest of marine archaeologists. Could this be part of an ancient diving bell, used in an attempt to recover Spain's lost treasure? Dr. Sean Kingsley talks with Marine Archaeologist James Sinclair, MA.
    Check out Wreckwatch Magazine: https://www.wreckwatchmag.com
    Mel Fisher Museum in Sebastian Florida: https://www.melfisher.com/sebastian.html

    Boat Update, September 2023

    The Dare left today to go back out to the Atocha site. We will keep you updated on what they discover. Today's the day!

    Boat updates for THE DARE

    The Dare is back out at sea! June 2023

    The Dare is currently on the Atocha site searching for trasure. The last 11 day trip we found several pieces of ballast stone and pottery. We are hot on the trail and can't wait to see what is discovered next! Today's the day!Photography: Mary Martin

    The crew of the Dare is excited to head out for their next trip, once the boat is ready to go. Today's the day!

    Dare Crew Members from left to right: Cameron Miller, Adam Flowers (First Mate), Vince Trotta (Capt) Bottom row: Matt Moore (Engineer), Drake Nicholas

    Photography: Mary Martin

    05/25/23 Boat updates for THE DARE

    We are currently out on the Atocha site!

    The Dare and crew are still on the Atocha site and have been there for more than a week. More ballast stone and some pottery have been found so the trail continues! They should be returning Monday or Tuesday after a nice long trip! We will keep you posted on what they discover. Today's the day!!

    Boat updates for THE DARE

    Planning for long trips at sea!

    We are preparing for more treasure hunting which means scheduled maintenance and repairs. While the Dare was in port many repairs (some essential) and upgrades were done to ensure long trips at sea.

    The boat has been pulled out of the water for bottom cleaning and painting. This will help with fuel costs and make sure there is no structural damage.
    Photography: Mary Martin

    The crew of the Dare is excited to head out for their next trip, once the boat is ready to go. Today's the day!

    Dare Crew Members from left to right: Cameron Miller, Adam Flowers (First Mate), Vince Trotta (Capt) Bottom row: Matt Moore (Engineer), Drake Nicholas

    Photography: Mary Martin

    Ring sells for $1.2 million


    The Emerald Recovered From 400-Year-Old Shipwreck Raises $1.2 Million For Ukraine At Auction. All proceeds set to be donated to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

    Late Perdue Farms CEO Frank Perdue was an early on member with Mel Fisher and was given some of the treasure, and while he donated most of his share, he kept an emerald that he later had cut for the engagement ring he used to propose to his wife Mitzi in 1988.

    Mitzi Perdue was selling the ring in order to give the proceeds to humanitarian groups helping Ukraine, according to Sotheby’s, saying her late husband would “share my desire to help those in dire need” (Frank Perdue died in 2005).

    The ring sold to an anonymous buyer for far more than expected, more than 15 times as much as the $70,000 high-end estimate of the auction house.

    400th Commemoration

    Show airs tonight! October 4 9/8c

    Beyond Oak Island

    Watch BEYOND OAK ISLAND on the History Channel TONIGHT! October 4th to see the new Season 3, Episode 1 - "The Atocha's Emerald City". The Lagina Brothers and Matty Blake joined us in Key West recently, to search for Atocha emeralds. Set your DVRs or stream on History Channel tomorrow. Today's the day!

    400th Commemoration

     September 2-6, 2022 • MEL FISHER DAYS
    Four centuries ago this September, the legendary Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, along with several other 1622 fleet vessels, met their fate in a “storme and fearfull tempest” in the Florida Straits.

    In 1985, the world watched in wonder as treasure hunter Mel Fisher and his “Golden Crew” capped off a dramatic 16-year search with the discovery of the Atocha’s rich primary cultural deposit — the Mother Lode, 23 miles off of Key West.

    This year, to commemorate the 400-year anniversary, Key West’s annual Mel Fisher Days celebration will feature a series of events beginning Friday, Sept. 2, and running through Tuesday, Sept. 6, at multiple island locations. Event net proceeds benefit two charities: Wesley House Family Services of Monroe County and the Michael Abt. Jr. Have A Heart Foundation.

    Special thanks to Carol Tedesco

    ✅ FRI SEPT 2 - Opening Ceremony at The TROPIC Theatre – 7PM
    (This event is currently at full capacity)

    ✅ SAT SEPT 3 - Mel Fisher Days Charity Event at Schooner Wharf – EVERYONE WELCOME 🎉 • Golden Crew Reunion at Schooner Wharf • 50/50 raffle • Mel Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation • Mel Fisher and Key West history Trivia • Live Music • Book Signings by Authors • Happy Hour 4pm - 7pm

    ✅ SUN SEPT 4 - 400th Commemoration of the 1622 Fleet Speakers Symposium and Banquet Dinner. There will be eight academic speakers about various aspects of the 1622 Fleet including its History, Salvage, Conservation, Archaeology, Environmental Challenges, Legal Aspects, Numismatics, and one ‘just for fun' presentation about the FUN ROMANCE, and ADVENTURE.
    Please follow link to signup: 400th Commemoration of the 1622 Fleet Speakers Symposium: https://www.melfisher.com/MOBILE/site/MelFisherDays.html

    ✅ MON SEPT 5 - The Fisher Family invites you to join them for a meet and greet with them and their favorite treasured Authors at their Duval Street Treasure Store.
    Join us for a Scavenger Hunt! Noon-2:30

    ✅ TUE SEPT 6 - Memorial plaque honoring Mel Fisher and the lost souls of the 1622 Fleet shipwrecks - Ceremony to be attended by City Officials and Mel Fisher Family Members – Tuesday, September 6, 1622 Fleet Memorial Placement at Mallory Square at 10 AM

    👏 Silent Auction: https://www.biddingowl.com/Auction/index.cfm?auctionID=22149

    (Michael Abt Jr. Have a Heart Foundation and Wesley House Family Services)
    Hope to see you there! Today's the day!


    JOIN US!
    Join us for our 400th

    400th Commemoration
    of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha
    Today’s the Day to support the annual Mel Fisher Day’s Silent Auction Charity Event which will benefit the Wesley House Family Services of Monroe County and the Michael Abt Jr. Have a Heart Foundation.

    As you probably know, Wesley House is a nationally accredited not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and nurturing children and strengthening families with programs and services that span all of Monroe County. The Michael Abt Jr. Have a Heart Foundation is a 501-c-3 Florida charity that supports heart screenings on youth, awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in children, CPR training for those who work with youth, and placement of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools. All donations to either of these organizations are tax deductible. Please visit their websites with these links to learn more about their programs. Wesley House Family Services Michael Abt Jr. Have a Heart Foundation (haveaheartformichael.org)

    The silent auction goes live July 20,2022 and the final bids will be accepted at 7:00 pm Tuesday September 6, 2022.

    There will be five days of exciting events so please check our schedule! Click here


    September 2021
    October Salvage Update


    The J.B. Magruder was searching in the Northern area of the Bank of Spain. Congratulations to diver Santana on his second silver coin find.
    The crew discovered:
    • 1 Silver Coin
    • Several EOs (encrusted objects)some believed to possibly be parts of swords
    • Several Large Pottery Shards

      September 2021
      Salvage Update


      The divers continue to uncover more pieces of history in the area known as "The Bank of Spain". A rather impressive fully intact olive jar neck and a very large piece of pottery were discovered.
      The crew discovered:
      • Large Olive Jar Neck
      • Several EOs (encrusted objects)
      • Large Pottery Shards

      The crew is currently doing maintenance and gathering provisions for the next trip weather permitting by end of next week.

        July 2021

        Mel Fisher’s Treasures salvage vessel J.B. Magruder with newly appointed Captain Tim Meade at the helm finds an exceedingly rare Atocha gold coin on July 16, 2021, in 30’ of water. Congratulations to Captain Tim and the entire Magruder crew. The coin was found by 2nd generation treasure finder, Engineer Zach Moore on the Nuestra de Atocha Spanish galleon shipwreck. The last Atocha gold coin ever recovered from in 2001, this will only be the 121st Atocha gold coin ever found on the Atocha site to date. Today's value is estimated to be at least $98,000, even more, if it's from a rare mint.
        Zach Moore joined the Mel Fisher crew a few years ago. He is from Vero Beach, Florida, and had previously worked as a treasure hunter on the 1715 fleet. One of his other exciting discoveries on the 1715 fleet was an EO (encrusted object) that he and his dad conserved together. It turned out to be a very rare silver pendant and a rosary with a still intact figure of Christ!

        Zach’s father William (Bill) Moore was part of the crew that discovered and recovered the motherload of the Atocha in 1985. During one dive Bill and the other divers found 165 pounds of gold finger bars, chains, and discs! His mother Julie Moore was also a diver on the Atocha site during the motherload find and was part of many amazing finds as well. Bill also worked as the Chief Conservator on the 1715 Fleet Operation at Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum in Sebastian Florida for many years.
        This new gold coin discovery comes just a few days before the 36th anniversary of the 1985 Atocha Motherload discovery and our annual “Mel Fisher Days” celebration fundraiser benefiting Wesley House Family Services and Michael Abt Jr. Have a Heart Foundation. This year on Tuesday, July 20th there will be a diver reunion party at the Schooner Wharf and a huge online silent auction.

        Diver Jacob Bell found his first piece of eight and another piece of eight was recovered by one of the investors. Several other artifacts were also recovered. Mel Fisher’s Treasures team continues to hunt for the remaining Atocha and Margarita treasures. As Mel Fisher would say “Today’s the day!”
        Visit or dive the active wreck sites...

        CALL NOW TO START YOUR ADVENTURE! (305) 294-5441

          May 2021
          New Artifacts found!

          Here are some great close-up shots of artifacts recently found on the Atocha shipwreck site. To find a fully intact olive jar neck with the cork still in it is considered very rare! There were several pottery pieces that still had enamel paint on them and will be looked at by our conservationist to determine history. The search continues!

            May 2021
            J.B. Magruder heads to Atocha site

            Mel Fisher's Treasures crew on the J.B. Magruder will be treasure hunting in the area known as the "Bank of Spain". This area is where millions of dollars in gold and silver have been found over the years, we wish them luck on their expedition and hope to see lots of treasure on the deck!

            March 2021
            Video of artifact found on Atocha

            Video of artifact found on the Atocha site (2/25/2021) by Jacob Bell of the J.B. Magruder crew. This was Jacob's first find and a very cool one at that! We believe it may be a hilt from a swept-hilt rapier. It closely resembles other sword handles found on the Atocha site. The American Heritage College Dictionary defines "Rapier" as: "A long slender two-edge sword with a cup-like hilt, used in the 16th and 17th centuries. A light sharp-pointed sword lacking a cutting edge and used for only thrusting.". As you can see it is still greatly encrusted and currently in our lab. We will keep you updated with photos and videos as it goes through conservation.

            February 2021
            J.B. Magruder is currently working on the Atocha site

            We have exciting news! The wind finally laid down and the J.B. Magruder is now headed to the Atocha site to work the area known as the "Bank of Spain". This area is where millions of dollars in gold and silver have been found over the years and a fully intact bowl was recently found here while the Magruder crew was continuing to expand the boundaries of this productive area of the site.

            February 2021
            After nearly 30 years working with Mel Fisher's Treasures, Captain Andy Matroci is retiring

            When you first meet Andy Matroci, Captain of the J.B. Magruder, you would never guess that this soft-spoken, unassuming man has had such a fascinating life, an illustrious 30-year diving career, and has logged over 21,000 hours underwater.

            Andy grew up in the windy city of Chicago. Being drawn to diving at a very early age, he became certified during his first year at Triton College and was a dive instructor by age 19. He achieved his next level of dive training in 1975 at the Ocean Corporation in Houston, TX, attaining his commercial dive certification. For the next few years, Andy worked commercial dive jobs in Morgan City, LA, San Diego, Chicago, and finally, Gary, IN, where he was diving in an industrial holding tank. Needing some time away from such difficult working conditions, Andy felt a little awkward asking his boss for a vacation after only 2 months on this job, and was quite surprised when he was told yes since Andy had already endured longer than any of the company’s previous employees.

            So in early 1981, Andy’s vacation took him from the cold Chicago weather to the Fort Lauderdale area for a visit with his grandmother and then on to Key West for some recreational diving. The first diver he met in Key West was Captain Billy Deans, who was to later become a very good and influential friend. Andy also heard of a man named Mel Fisher, a treasure hunter and diver looking for a lost Spanish galleon. Having never heard of a diving job that involved searching for treasure, it was Andy’s curiosity that led him, with his resume, into Mel’s office the following day. After looking over the resume, Mel said to Andy, “I’ve never seen a diving resume before. Would you like to start today or tomorrow? I can pay you $103 per week.” Before he could catch himself, Andy laughed and then explained to Mel that he made more than that in one day at his present job. Mel said that was all he could afford to pay his divers, but offered a percentage of the treasure they find, as well.

            They had already discovered huge amounts of treasure now and we're likely to find the “Motherlode” of the Atocha any day now. Like so many others who had been influenced by Mel, Andy thought about it for a day or two, and in two weeks’ time, he had gone back to Chicago and moved all of his belongings to Key West, thinking that he would try to treasure hunting for a year.

            Andy’s first assignment was on the Dauntless and his eyes still light up when he talks about finding his first GOLD after only a few months there! He enjoyed his work and decided to stay on longer than planned. He loved history and became fascinated with the history and archaeology of the Atocha. And more importantly, would he ever be able to live with himself if he left and then later read or heard about the discovery of the “Motherlode” without his being a part of it?

            On July 20, 1985, as First Mate on the Dauntless, Andy had been plotting the charts and had spent time studying them. The crew knew they were getting close to something big because of all the treasure they were finding. On the 5th dive of the day, Andy said to his dive buddy, Greg Wareham, “Before we pick up anything, let’s swim a compass course out of the hole to the southeast and see what’s out there. So they swam out of the hole to the southeast, swimming parallel lines but out of each other’s sight. Andy was heading back to the hole when Greg came up and motioned for Andy to follow him. There it was! Ballast stones and silver bars rising 3 feet out of the mud. They hugged each other and then took ten to fifteen minutes to swim around the huge ballast pile, knowing they were the first to see and would never have an opportunity to see the Nuestra Senora de Atocha like this again. They then surfaced and screamed, “It’s the Motherlode! It’s right here!” Needless to say, Andy has countless fascinating stories of the recoveries, celebrities, and adventures that followed as the result of this great treasure find. He continued to work the Atocha and Margarita sites through 1991. At one time or another during his tenure, he has captained or co-captained the M/V Dauntless, M/V Magruder, M/V Virgilona, and the M/V Swordfish, as well as doing some work on the 1715 and 1733 fleets.

            Deciding it was time for a career change, Andy left the company in 1991 to work on the Nuestra Senora de Pilar, a 1690 Spanish Manila galleon off the coast of Guam. The depth of this wreck required him to bring his crew to Key West to be trained in mixed-gas, deep water diving by his friend and accomplished diver Billy Deans. Andy’s diving career has also taken him to many wrecks in the waters of the Philippines, Anguilla and Honduras and includes subcontract work on “Emerald City” in 1994 and on the Santa Margarita site in 2000.

            In early 2002 Andy was hired back to Captain the J.B. Magruder and continued to make amazing finds on both the Atocha and Margarita wreck sites until February 2021 when he has decided to hang up his dive fins and enjoy retirement. He will be greatly missed, we wish him a very happy retirement enjoying more time with his family and new grandbaby.

              February, 2021
              CAPTAIN TIM MEADE
              Our new J.B. Maguder Captain

              Tim Meade

              With Captain Andy retiring we are excited to announce our new Captain for the J.B. Magruder, Tim Meade. Tim has 15 years of shipwreck experience and has worked with Mel Fisher's Treasures for the last 12 years, much of which he has served as the ships Engineer and more recently training as first-mate. He has had his Master Captain’s license for 5 years. Tim has also found countless artifacts on the Atocha and Margarita sites, including a gold bar, emerald ring, and countless other historical artifacts. We are grateful to have him as part of the team and cannot wait to see what he and his crew find next!

                January, 2021
                Kim Fisher talks about the moment when he found the Poison Cup
                By Kim Fisher

                It was a long time ago. My first wife JoArden Michael was pregnant with our eldest son, Jeremy. Jeremy was born in January 1975 so it must have been the summer of 1974. The ocean was flat calm, like a sheet of glass. Because the seas were so calm and there was no wind the Captain of the Virgilona Demostonese “Mo” Molinar had decided to spend the night on the Atocha site. We were going to work until dark. 

                We were working in shallow sand just one or two feet deep on the edge of the “Quicksands”. Because of the water depth and the shallow sand, we were running the mailboxes at an idle dusting away the fine white sand. It was the last hole of the day and the sun had already sunk halfway below the horizon. I was the only one still suited up and the rest of the crew was busy putting their gear away and clearing the decks for the night. 

                As I was about to push off the dive ladder JoArden, tongue in cheek, told me, “Find me a gold chalice!” As incredible as it seems, I followed her order. As soon as I got to the bottom, I saw gold. It looked like a dragon or “maritime dolphin” I stared in awe for about two minutes as the mailboxes gently dust the sand away. What I had first seen was what turned out to be one of the handles of a magnificent intricately smithed, gold poison cup.

                When I surfaced with the poison cup the excitement, as you can imagine, was tremendous. Even though the sun had already set everyone was suited up and back in the water within five minutes. The base of the cup which is threaded and actually can be unscrewed from the cup was found about twenty feet away. 

                A second hurricane that tracked over the Atocha in 1622 was so powerful it had ripped the Atocha apart. The main pile was so heavy that it didn’t move but the upper decks including the forecastle and stern castle were torn from the hull and scattered for several miles ending up in the “Quicksands”. This spot we lovingly refer to as “The Bank of Spain”. During this tremendous storm which mercilessly pounded the ship apart the poison cup had been crushed. We located a gold smith well known for restoring antiques like this. He was an Octogenarian and took most of the rest of the year to restore the cup using only his hands. That’s how pure the gold was.

                At the time we didn’t know what we had. I mean we knew we had a beautiful gold cup but it wasn’t until early the next year when brought in numerous experts to examine all of the unique “artifacts of distinction” that we had recovered the previous year that we found out what we had. Priscilla Muller one of the top experts in Hispanic art history and jewelry took one look at it and said, “Oh my goodness, you’ve found a poison cup.” It turns out that in the bottom of the cup was a large mount, around one inch tall that held a bezoar stone.

                A bezoar stone comes from the alimentary track of a llama or goat. When arsenic, a common poison in 1622, comes in contact with a bezoar stone the stone would turn dark, warning its owner that someone was trying to poison him. After hearing the story we hired a chemist to see if it was true. It is. they had some pretty sharp people back then to figure that out. We have found numerous bezoar stones on the Atocha and Margarita since then. Some were just loose, found in a wooden box along with some gold chains. Others were in elaborate gold bezels worn on a gold chain around the neck and could be dipped into any cup to test for arsenic.

                I hope you enjoyed this tidbit of treasure hunting. I know it is a day that I will never forget. 

                Today’s the day!
                Kim Fisher

                October, 2020
                Museum quality "Columbia Plain Pottery" found on the Atocha site!
                ️⚓️ New footage of the bowl recovered from the Atocha site. Watch as Treasure Diver Tim Meade shows you the fully intact bowl discovered this month. This style pottery is known as "Columbia Plain" and is thought to be well preserved because of it's thick nature. Here is an excerpt from Archeologist Mitchell W. Marken, "CERAMICS from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha" explaining more about Columbia Plain Pottery. "The second most common ceramic tradition found on Spanish shipwrecks is the Columbia Plain type tin glazed earthenwares. These wares were used as the everyday plates (platos) and drinking bowls (escudillas) by crew and less wealthy passengers. The platos and escudillas were probably made on molds as a fair degree of uniformity exists." This find is very unique because it is fully intact and still has a good amount of glaze left on it. You can just feel the history and only imagine what it was like to be a crew member on one of these vessels.

                September, 2020
                J.B. Magruder is back out on the Atocha site!
                ️Exciting news as the boat is now at the Atocha site to search for treasure with the grandson of Mel Fisher, Josh Fisher Abt. We wish him and the crew lots of luck as they search for treasure!! As Mel would say "Today's the day!"!

                September, 2020
                Sebastian Museum is OPEN the whole month of September!
                ️ For 15 years we have been closed the month of September. Come enjoy and feast your eyes on some treasure!

                1322 US Highway 1
                Sebastian, FL 32958
                (772) 589-9875
                Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
                Sun noon-5pm
                Click here for directions

                July, 2020
                NEW FINDS!
                ️ The crew brought back to the dock today: 🔹1 emerald. Nice color, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 ct. 🔹1 fully intact silver candlestick 🔹Small piece of a silver plate rim 🔹Pottery shards, one glazed 🔹Half of a silver coin Congratulations crew and members! If you would like to know more about becoming a member visit: https://www.melfisher.com/MOBILE/site/myadventure.html


                June, 2020
                Our Duval Street store is now open!
                613 Duval Street

                Greene Street store opening soon

                Mel Fisher's Treasures Coronavirus Response

                At Mel Fisher's Treasures, The health of our team, our customers and their families are of the utmost importance to us. We’ve taken a number of steps to help control the spread of COVID-19. At this time, our physical treasure stores are not open to the public. We have a limited amount of staff safely working to fulfill online orders to continue to help you own a piece of history.

                Visit our online webstore, by clicking here


                February, 2020
                Meet Our New Divers!

                Jacob Bell joined the Magruder Crew this fall after Melvin Fisher Abt introduced Jacob to Mel Fisher's Expeditions. He is originally from Louisiana, where he grew up on a horse farm. With a love of lobster diving, he became scuba dive certified at a young age of 13, so he could bag some bugs. Jacob is very excited to be a part of our adventure! There are two Jacobs on the Magruder now, so when you come to visit you can call him LJ.

                Jacob Williams joined the Magruder Crew this fall. He is originally from Calhoun, Georgia, where he attended Troy University. Jacob took an extra curricular class at Troy University to earn his scuba diving certificate. He has dove all over the world. Some highlights include the Red Sea and beautiful Hawaii! He previously worked with Captain Andy's son, who noticed his work ethic and recommended him for our dive team. He likes to live by the motto, "Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life!" To not confuse the two Jacobs, you can call him Israel.

                Kyle Sweaney joined the Magruder Crew last summer just after Division Week. Kyle is originally from Seattle, Washington. Inspired by a friend, Ky attended the Divers Institute of Technology in Seattle where he was introduced to the dive crew position at Mel Fisher's Expeditions. His favorite dive with us, so far, is one of his first few dives on the Margarita shipwreck site, where he recovered his first piece of treasure - a pottery fragment! In his free time, Kyle is on a mission to keep our oceans clean. He dives for trash in the harbor where we dock the Dare and the Magruder. He also composes a variety of music. Kyle also has a nickname, Ky!

                Zach Moore joined the Dare Crew this fall. He is from Vero Beach, Florida. Some of you might know him already, he is the son of Atocha Golden Crew member Bill "Chill Will" Moore. In August of 1985, just after the Atocha Motherlode, Bill put 165 pounds of gold on deck in one day! This included 77 Gold Bars, 7 Gold disc, and 7 gold chains. Zach hopes to help find as much or more treasure than his dad in the upcoming salvage seasons. Like most treasure hunters, Zach has been diving his whole life but became officially certified in 2014, and then as a Dive Master in 2016. He previously was working the 1715 fleet. His most exciting treasure recovery on the 1715 fleet was an EO that he and his dad conserved together. It turned out to be a very rare silver pendant and a rosary with a still intact figure of christ!


              Archive 2016
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