It’s estimated that the treasure uncovered from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha shipwreck was worth $400 million when found in 1985 ($1.1 billion today).
After a Spanish ship named Nuestra Señora de Atocha sank in 1622, a team of treasure hunters found a hull of precious materials. Per Forbes, the diving team, led by Mel Fisher, uncovered 180,000 coins, 24 tons of Bolivian silver, 125 bars of gold bullion, and a collection of rough-cut emeralds mined in Columbia. It’s estimated that all the treasure uncovered from the shipwreck was worth $400 million when found in 1985 (which equals $1.1 billion today).
Late Perdue Farms CEO Frank Perdue helped fund the expedition. Some of the hull was given to Perdue. Although he donated most of the treasure, he had a rough-cut emerald incorporated into an engagement ring for his wife Mitzi in 1988.
Now, set with a 6.25-carat octagonal step-cut emerald, the ring will be auctioned under Sotheby’s. It’s estimated to fetch up to $70,000.
In line with her husband’s charity efforts, Mitzi will donate the proceeds to humanitarian groups helping Ukraine. The emerald ring, rooted in history, will be up for bids in New York on December 7.
Images from Sotheby’s.