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FORT PIERCE, FLA. — A Florida family is reeling in the spotlight after finding more than $350,000 worth of gold off the shore of the Fort Pierce, Fla. over the Labor Day weekend.
The Schmitts, a treasure-hunting hunting family that runs a company called Booty Salvage, found seven gold chairs, three gold coins and a gold ring about 1,000 feet off the coast, according to an ABC News report (http://abcn.ws/15W2tiD).
“It was a lot of emotion. The first was excitement followed by a lot of almost crying," said Eric Schmitt, one of the crew members.
ABC News reports it is believed the treasure stems from a hurricane that sunk 11 Spanish ships in 17th Century.
"It’s one of the larger finds that's been made on this coast in a very long time," said Schmitt.
Brent Brisben, co-founder of Queen Jewels, the company that owns the rights to dive in the area where the gold was found, told ABC News statues, coins and other gold artifacts have also been discovered in the same area.
“Almost on a daily basis we find shipwreck artifacts, musket balls, pottery,” said Brisben.
Brisben, a Cincinnati native and Moeller High School graduate, says approximately $400,000,000 worth of treasure remains on the ocean floor.
The Schmitts will split their findings among each other and their contractor, Queen Jewels. They will also donate 20 percent to the state of Florida.
For more information on treasures found near Fort Pierce, visit the Queen Jewels Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/1715-Fleet-Queens-Jewels-LLC/216051341795177.
Scripps station WPTV contributed to this report.
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