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Treasure-hunting family finds $300K in gold

Sept. 3, 2013 at 11:40 AM

FORT PIERCE, Fla., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A family of Florida treasure hunters said they discovered an estimated $300,000 worth of gold coins and chains off the coast of Fort Pierce.

Rich Schmitt of Sanford, owner of Booty Savage, said he and his family went diving during the weekend with friend Dale Zeak and they discovered 64 feet of thin gold chain, five gold coins and a gold ring in the water, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Tuesday.

Brent Brisben, co-founder of 1715 Fleet -- Queens Jewels LLC, which owns the rights to dive on the wreckage site -- said $300,000 is a conservative estimate for the worth of the haul.

"To be the first person to touch an artifact in 300 years, is indescribable," Brisben said . "They were there 150 years before the Civil War. It's truly remarkable to be able to bring that back."

Booty Salvage is a subcontractor of Brisben's company.

The Schmitt family said the gold haul is the largest in their salvaging years.

"The greatest treasure is time with the family," said Lisa Schmitt, Rick Schmitt's wife.

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