$500 Million Treasure of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes Returning Soon to Spain

Within the next day or so, two Spanish Air Force C-130 transport planes will land at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base to load 17 tons of gold and silver coins and other artifacts recovered from the wreck of the Spanish Navy’s Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes by Odyssey Marine.  The 594,000 coins and other artifacts are valued at $500 million.

In 1804, the British Royal Navy attacked a Spanish treasure fleet off Cape Santa Maria, Portugal, seizing  £900,000 (equivalent to £62,923,000, or $98,638,000 today) in gold and silver.  As the countries were not at war, Spain called the attack piracy, while the British justified as a “necessity of war.”

In 2007, Odyssey Marine salvaged 594,000 gold and silver coins from the wreck of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, which exploded and sank during the battle in 1804. As the ship was a naval vessel, the Spanish sued Odyssey, demanding return of the treasure.  After a five year legal battle, the Spanish have won. The coins and artifacts will finally make it to port after 208 years.  The Battle of Cape Santa Maria is finally over.    Thanks to Phil Leon for passing along the news.

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6 Responses to $500 Million Treasure of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes Returning Soon to Spain

  1. Pingback: Plunderers Plundering the Plunder – Peru Claims Share of Coin Treasure | Old Salt Blog – a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

  2. Pingback: Treasure of Silver and Gold Coins Returned to Spain

  3. RealityBites says:

    Spain a nation of thieves and robbers, they deserve nothing. Since the gold was nothing but plunder they had stolen it should go to those that recovered it only.

  4. Haley Eves says:

    I have a coin similar to the ones in the picture, but I’m not absolutely sure. The image of the cross-like symbol on the coins in the picture are very similar to the one I have.

  5. P.h.d. Nelson says:

    I resent your ignorant comment “reality bites”. Spain was not a nation of thieves and robbers, but rather hustlers. They didn’t steal anything, it was up for grabs, and they worked it. Britain was always jealous of Spain’s conquest and fortune, that’s why they hired (privateers) legalized pirates, such as Henry Morgan, and Francis Drake to attack ships, kill nuns and priests and steal Gold that the Spanish mined, transported, and fought off hostile Indian attacks in uncharted lands with harsh climates, and dangerous animals. All the whilst the REAL THIEVES (British Pirates) just basked in the Caribbean waiting for treasure to steal.

  6. Johny tesoro says:

    Typical of spain. Rather than make a deal with Odysee they say no we arent going to give you no percentage we want it all. Spain stated in court “no one makes money off teh labour of Spain”. Well the truth is Spain put no labour into obtaining the gold unless you call theft labour. They stole it from Incas, Dominicans and others to enrich themselves. Spain was the most organized criminal enterprise in teh New world, stealing any riches she could, enslaving people to do the labour and killing a fair number . Those that were not killed died from disease the Spanish brought with them,. Spain that country of honesty and paragon of virtue. If I were president of Odysee, I would have dumped all teh coins back into the ocean where they were retrieved and let Spain foot the bill to get them back.

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