Gold treasure recovered from shipwreck off Florida coast

Sanford family strikes treasure for 2nd time in year

Local 6 News at 7:00p

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A Sanford family has struck gold for the second time in the past year after finding a gold artifact within a Spanish shipwreck off the coast of Florida.

Rick, Eric, Lisa, Hillary and Lindsay Schmitt found an ornate, high-karat gold pyx in the 1715 Treasure Fleet that sunk off the coast of Fort Pierce.

The Schmitts, along with their partners the Zeak family, say the gold pyx is the second piece of an artifact that was originally found in the same area in the 1989. It was crafted in the late 1600s to early 1700s and was used for transporting a Eucharist, according to the family.

"I pretty much knew what it was right away. Nothing has ever looked like that before," said Eric Schmitt, who found the loot 150 feet off the coast of Fort Pierce.

With the detailed, gold weaving and the 300-year history, the Schmitts say the artifact is priceless.

"I believe there was an appraisal on the one piece was $600,000 and together, being a religious artifact, I could imagine it'd be priceless," said Eric Schmitt.

Although it's unlikely, the state could take possession of the pyx because the rest of the artifact is privately owned. However, for the Schmitts, they're just happy they changed history.

"To change history by finding something is totally different thing," said Rick Schmitt. "It's almost too much to handle to be honest with you."

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