Most valuable shipwreck
Nuestra Senora de Atocha
500000000 US dollar(s)
United States ()

Mel Fisher (USA, 1922-1998), one of the most famous 20th-century treasure-hunters, found the ship Nuestra Señora de Atocha off the Key West coast in Florida, USA, on 20 July 1985. The ship carried 40 tons (36,287.39 kg) of gold and silver and some 31.75 kg (70 lb) of emeralds when it went down in a hurricane in September 1622 with 265 people on board of which only five survived. According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal in 2012 ("Sunken Treasure of 1622 Set for Philadelphia Auction", Rachel Wolff, WSJ, 14 January 2012), the value of the treasure so far recovered by Fisher and his team is around $500 million.

This figure will potentially be dwarfed by the value of the treasure expected to be recovered from the wreck of the 18th-century Spanish galleon, the San Jose, located off the coast of Colombia and announced to the public on 5 December 2015; at the time of the discovery, estimates ranged from $1 billion to $17 billion.