• Treasure hunting family from Sanford strikes gold again


    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A family of treasure hunters from Sanford spent Wednesday showing Channel 9 their latest find, which included an artifact that was the missing piece to another discovery made 25 years ago.

    The gold discovery was made by Eric Schmitt in Brevard County in 15 feet of water and dates back 300 years.

    The gold filigree is part of the same 1715 treasure fleet that brought the family notoriety last year.   

    Eleven Spanish galleons loaded with treasures from the new world sank in a hurricane off the east central Florida coast.

    "Once I pulled it out of the sand I pretty much knew what it was right away," said Schmitt.

    As it turns out, the ornate piece is part of another discovery made more than two decades ago.

    When the piece was assembled some 300 years ago, a thin space remained for carrying a communion wafer. The religious artifact could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars but to the Schmitts and salvager Queens Jewels LLC, the find is priceless.

    "I'm still on the top of the wave," said Schmitt. "I still haven't come down yet."

    The family also found rings, but none of the items have yet been appraised.

    Last year, the Schmitts and Queens Jewels found a dazzling $750,000 in treasure.

    "We're pretty sure there are boxes of jewelry loaded down that were headed to Spain," said Schmitt.

    Some of the uncovered artifacts will be donated to Florida's collection.

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