A Florida family of treasure hunters made the find of a lifetime this week after one of them found gold artefacts from a 1715 Spanish fleet that sank in the Atlantic worth more than $1 million dollars.

Discovered in just 4.5m of water by Eric Schmitt, the haul includes up to 51 gold coins of different sizes and 12m of gold chain according to the owners of the wreckage 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC.

Brent Brisben, who owns the company, bought the rights to the site in 2010 and allows people such as the Schmitts to search the wreckage for treasure under contract and said that the find coincides with the 300th anniversary of the sinking of 11 ships en route to Spain from Florida carrying the gold whose cargo would today have been valued at $400m. $175m of that has, according to Brisben, already been recovered.

The Schmitt's, whose boat bears the amazing name of 'Aarrr Booty', could stand to make up to $400,000 from the find, as under federal and state law, Florida can take possession of up to 20% of the haul for museums, with the remainder split between Brisben's company and the family.

We think it's safe to say Eric was happy about it.

Via New York Daily News/Guardian