GCTC December 2013 Newsletter.pdf
2013 is the 40TH ANNIVERSARY of the
Gold Coast Treasure Club.
The hunt for sunken riches
off the Treasure Coast
Story by Al Pefley / CBS12 News
Posted by Scott T. Smith / CBS12 News
From Tinfoil Times Newsletter Dec. 1991
From Tinfoil Times Oct. 1987
OFF JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- Did you know there are millions
of dollars in coins and jewelry, not far from where you live right
here in South Florida? Finding it and getting to it is the hard
part. But that hasn't stopped some people from trying. They're
professional treasure hunters, and the state of Florida has given
them a permit to try to find it.
Each day, the Iron Maiden goes out in search of sunken
treasure. They're working a site near Juno Beach, looking for a
Spanish ship similar to this one, that went down in a storm in
the late 1500s. It was sailing from Cuba to Spain, loaded with
treasure. When they get to the dive site, they use two large
blowers on the back of the boat that are lowered into the water
one at a time. The blowers send powerful streams of water from
the boat's propeller wash shooting downward, kicking up huge
amounts of sand on the bottom and carving out a crater of sand
on the ocean floor about 50 feet wide and 10 feet deep, exposing
any gold or silver coins or jewelry that may be down there.
Divers call this "blowing holes on the ocean bottom."
It's been more than 400 years since the ship went down. The
coins are now buried under layers of sand that have to be
removed before divers with metal detectors can find the
treasure. Searching for treasure requires a permit from the state
of Florida. Artifacts from the ship such as an anchor,
cannonballs and nails have been found. But so far, no treasure.
Divers working the Juno Beach site say they're not giving up.
The site near Juno Beach does hold some promise. But there's
another site north of here near Sebastian that's been even more
lucrative and another group is working that one.
In July, treasure hunters found 48 gold coins from a Spanish
ship called the Capitana that sank off the Florida coast in a
hurricane in July 1715. The wreck site is near Wabasso Beach.
The Capitana was part of a fleet of 11 ships that sank. Each gold
coin is about the size of a dime and almost pure gold.
Altogether, the 48 gold coins are worth a cool quarter of a
How did they know where to look? They have a mapping
system going back to 1983 that shows where others have found
previous artifacts and coins. So based on the debris pattern, they
pick a promising spot that hasn't been searched before. The four
guys who found the 48 gold coins from the Capitana say they
have a feeling there's a lot more treasure still out there. He
thinks the gold coins they found could be just the tip of the
iceberg. The guys searching for treasure near Sebastian and the
group searching near Juno Beach know they'll succeed if they
keep looking long enough. One day they hope the ocean will
finally give up its treasure. But it's been buried under the sand
for hundreds of years, and there are hundreds and hundreds of
places to look.
The treasure hunters don't get to keep everything they find.
They say the state of Florida gets up to 20 percent of any
treasure and artifacts they find. They say the state typically takes
the items that are considered to be the rarest pieces, to be
displayed in a museum in Tallahassee.