Most valuable shipwreck
San José
17,000,000,000 US dollar(s)
Colombia (Cartagena)

The San José, launched in 1698, was a three-masted galleon that was part of Spain’s "Treasure Fleet", which regularly transported precious metal and jewels from South America back to Spain. On 8 June 1708, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the fleet was intercepted and attacked off Cartagena, Colombia, by a British squadron under the command of Captain Charles Wager. During the action, the San José exploded and sank with an enormous cargo of gold and silver coins, emeralds and other valuable items such as Ming-period porcelain. The wreck of the San José was discovered by the Colombian Navy in 2015 and its value has been estimated to be at least $17 billion and perhaps as high as $20 billion. For obvious reasons, the precise location of the wreck is a closely guarded secret.

Owing to the wreck's valuable cargo, several parties have made a claim on rightful ownership including Colombia, Spain, the American salvage company Sea Search Armada (who say they first discovered the wreck, in 1981) and a Bolivian indigenous community called the Qhara Qhara which states many of the treasures on board came from their land.

In June 2022, the Colombian government released new footage of the wreck and its treasures captured by remotely operated vehicles at a depth of approximately 1 km (3,280 ft). Photos showed cannons, Chinese crockery and gold coins known as macuquinas.