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Modern day treasure hunters strike gold

MAY 21 — A group of deep sea explorers announced last week it has discovered what could be the most valuable shipwreck booty in history.

Although the group, Tampa, Fla.-based Odyssey Marine Exploration, declined to give details about the sunken ship or its location in the Atlantic, members said they have collected more than 500,000 coins that are estimated to be worth $500 million, an Associated Press report says.

“For this colonial era, I think [the find] is unprecedented,” a rare coin specialist who examined a batch of the coins says in the report. “I don’t know of anything equal or comparable to it.”

The ship apparently went down in a shipping lane where many colonial-era vessels have gone down, the report says. It was not immediately known the size, nationality or age of the boat, although the group’s records reportedly indicate it could be a 400-year-old ship that sank off England.

Odyssey Marine Exploration members are expected to return to the site to search for more coins and other artifacts. “We have treated this site with kid gloves and the archaeological work done by our team out there is unsurpassed,” Odyssey CEO John Morris says in the news report. “We are thoroughly documenting and recording the site, which we believe will have immense historical significance.”

Jason Fell