For decades, treasure hunters in search of gold have been diving to explore shipwrecks off the Florida Keys.
In 1985, a mother lode gold haul was found inside the Nuestra de Atocha Spanish galleon which, heavily laden with precious gems and metals, tobacco, bronze cannons, and indigo, was ripped apart by a hurricane in 1622.
Leading up to the anniversary of that epic find, on July 19, second-generation treasure hunter Zach Moore found a gold coin worth $98,000 at the wreck. It is the first Atocha gold coin found at the site since 2001, Mel Fisher’s Treasures stated, as well as the 121st Atocha gold coin found, to date.
Moore, an engineer from Vero Beach, Florida, joined the crew of Mel Fisher’s Treasures salvage vessel J.B. Magruder a few years ago. His father, William Moore, had been part of the crew that recovered the mother lode of Atocha in 1985.
“During one dive, Bill and the other divers found 165 pounds of gold finger bars, chains, and discs!” Mel Fisher’s recounted of that initial find. “[Zach’s] mother, Julie Moore, was also a diver on the Atocha site during the motherload find and was part of many amazing finds as well.”
Zach has also worked as a treasure hunter on the 1715 Treasure Fleet, where he made another exciting discovery. He found an “encrusted object,” which he and his dad conserved together and which turned out to be a “very rare” silver pendant and a rosary with a still intact figure of Christ.
For several years, William Moore worked as chief conservator for 1715 Fleet Operation at Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum in Sebastian Florida.
The recent find came just days ahead of the 1985 Atocha Motherlode discovery’s 36th anniversary on July 20—as well as Mel Fisher’s annual celebration and fundraiser.
Looking forward, “Mel Fisher’s Treasures team continues to hunt for the remaining Atocha and Margarita treasures,” the group stated. “As Mel Fisher would say, ‘Today’s the day!’”