We’ve all dreamed it. Armed with nothing but a snorkel and a set of flippers, you dive down into the crystal clear water to scour the ocean floor for anything out of the ordinary. In the corner of your eye you spot it. A small protrusion. You push away the sand to reveal a large box. The chest is difficult to open but alas, it releases to reveal an array of sparkling lights and colours. All of a sudden you hear a loud noise - the dreaded alarm clock.
Nuestro Senora de Atocha, 1622
Mel Fisher’s dream was a little different. There was no alarm clock.
Nuestra Señora de Atocha was hit by a hurricane in 1622 carrying roughly 40 tonnes of silver and gold and 70 lbs of rare Muzo (Colombian) emeralds. The ship was part of a fleet bound for Spain to help the Spanish Empire with their ever growing expenses. The Spanish Government would try to recover the sunken ship while only finding the remains of the lesser valuable Santa Margarita.
Corona de Muzo, 24.34ct emerald cut
In July 1985, Mel Fisher discovered the most valuable shipwreck in history. However, this historical event could hardly be called a fluke. Mel Fisher and his team had been searching ruthlessly for 16 years prior for this grandiose treasure. The discovery would only be the start of new battle with the state authorities over the rightful distribution of the riches.
The emerald specialist appointed as Head Appraiser and Consultant would be the expert emerald collector Mr. Marcial De Gomar. Over the years he would acquire many of the rare Muzo emeralds for his own collection.
Reina del Mar, 4.39ct round
This April, Guernsey’s Auction House, New York, will be hosting one of the biggest emerald auctions in history with many of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha emeralds available to the public for the first time ever. The Marcial De Gomar collection includes a behemoth 877 carat rough emerald named ‘La Gloria’. The auction is estimated to gross $15-20 million USD.
If you cannot check out this amazing auction or if you don't have the patience for treasure hunting, you can always browse Daisy Exclusive's selection of fine emeralds!
Pictures courtesy of Guernsey's