Metal Detecting Stories is an edited review of hand-picked metal detecting, treasure hunting and metal detectors related articles and discoveries.

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Wrecks and Maritime Treasure Hunters

Florida treasure hunters find gold coins worth $4.5m
Treasure hunters in the US say they have discovered a haul of Spanish gold coins from the 18th century that are worth $4.5 million. The 350 coins have lain on the Atlantic sea bed off the coast of Florida for the past 300 years. The coins are from a fleet of 11 Spanish galleons that sank during a hurricane while making the journey from Cuba to Spain. The discovery is the second major find by treasure hunters in recent months. In June, they found about 50 coins worth about $1m.

Treasure hunter Greg Brooks claims to have found WWII wreck containing platinum worth $3 billion
A treasure hunter claims to have located the wreck of a bombed British merchant ship containing platinum bars worth $3billion. If the theory is right, the ship, which was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1942 in the Second World War, could be one of the richest sunken treasure troves ever discovered. Greg Brooks, of Sub Sea Research in Gorham, Maine, announced the wreck, sitting in 700 feet of water 50 miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is that of the S.S. Port Nicholson.

Spanish armada sets sail to lay claim to hundreds of wrecks before US firm Odyssey
Spain has sent an armada into waters around its coasts to locate and lay claim to shipwrecks to stave off US marine exploration firm Odyssey - accused of collecting Spanish treasures from the seabed.

South African shipwreck treasure hunter has to wait a decade to excavate treasure
Bureaucracy has kept treasure hunter Charlie Shapiro away from the 224-year-old wreck of the Brederode, loaded with porcelain, tin and gold from Indonesia and China. One of Shapiro's richest finds lies waiting in the ocean a decade after its discovery, at risk from ransackers. Shapiro found the 224-year-old shipwreck of the Dutch Brederode 11 years ago, but a series of mishaps has left him still waiting for government to grant him a permit to recover its 10.1 M pounds cargo. From combing archives in Europe and South Africa, to a 16-year search and against-the-odds discovery of an amazingly well-preserved ship, his tale is literally of a treasure hunt.

How does Odyssey Marine Exploration find all that sunken treasure?
Discovering $500 million worth of sunken gold coins might be just the beginning for Odyssey Marine Exploration. Tampa's treasure-hunting company may have a lead on far more wrecks and far richer finds on the ocean floor, thanks to some skilful legal work and new high-tech gear. "There are billions of dollars worth of valuable and interesting things laying on the ocean floor waiting for us to find. That's our business plan in a nutshell," said Odyssey President Mark Gordon. There are 3 million shipwrecks worldwide: The hard part is finding them. There are no treasure maps with "X" marking the spot. Odyssey doesn't start by exploring into the ocean, it goes to the library.

Treasure hunter Odyssey ordered to give 500 million booty back to Spain
Did an American treasure hunter loot Spain's cultural heritage? Should private companies have a right to profit from historic vessels in international waters? Those were the questions that a federal judge in Tampa, Florida considered before ordering Odyssey Marine Exploration - the most sophisticated and well-financed treasure-hunting group on the planet - to turn over $500 million in gold and silver coins salvaged from a Spanish shipwreck. "The judge saw that the ship and its contents belong to Spain. It's a hugely important ruling and one that will set a precedent for future claims," said Spain's minister of culture. As a result Odyssey's stock dropped by over 50%.

Wreck of HMS Victory, which contains 100,000 gold coins, recovered from Channel
The shipwrecked predecessor to Lord Nelson's HMS Victory, containing 100,000 gold coins, is thought to have been found at the bottom of the English Channel. The ship, the 4th of 6 HMS Victories, sunk with its 1,150 sailors in 1744 around The Casquets. After months of silence Odyssey Marine Exploration is expected to confirm that the ship, codenamed "Legend", is in fact the Victory. The confirmation is set to open a quarrel over the contents of the ship - thought to be lying in international waters. Because it is a military wreck, the ship is protected by "sovereign immunity" and belongs to the state.

Who keeps bounty found at sea?
When it comes to the law of the sea, it's not quite as clear as finders keepers. Whether the treasure is gold coins in a sunken ship or a crate of goods washed ashore, what's up for grabs depends on where it's found and to whom it belongs. A key matter is whether the discovery is viewed as salvage or treasure-hunting. Salvage refers to when someone saves property drifting, lost or abandoned at sea - the "salvor" is required to return the found goods to the owner in return for a reward. Treasure hunting usually means exploration aimed at excavating antiquities and other valuables from shipwrecks for financial gain.

What Lies Beneath - The maritime treasure hunting industry booms
Over the last few decades, thanks to technology, the gates of a new world under the oceans have been thrown open: a world that has saved several chapters of human history in the forms of harbours, temples, statues and shipwrecks. But this is also a treasure trove that needs protecting. International seas are mostly unregulated, meaning most underwater archaeological wealth can be collected and sold without any obstruction. Win Scutt finds out how the maritime treasure hunting industry has flourished in recent years. Advances in immersion technology have now brought 98% of the ocean floors within the reach of archaeologists and salvage companies.

Whydah pirate ship holds booty from more than 50 plundered ships
300 years ago, the pirate ship Whydah was the stuff of adventure stories - a plundering terror on the high seas. The pirates of this mighty ship looted at least 50 other ships during their ship's reign over the Atlantic. The Whydah sank in a storm off Cape Cod in 1717, dragging its large treasure trove to the depths to be hidden for centuries. There it rested untroubled near Wreck Hill, a watery graveyard for thousands of ships, until 1984 when underwater explorer Barry Clifford and his project team located the wreck. Now, two decades and 1,000 item later, the explorers are still bringing out the 4 tons of loot.

Professional treasure hunters strike gold from the ocean floor   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A team of treasure hunters made their first big find of the season, pulling two pieces of gold jewelry up from the ocean floor near Vero Beach. Greg Bounds, captain of the "Gold Hound" treasure hunting team, says his crew made the discovery and a homevideo shows Bounds lifting his arms in the air and shouting "We've got gold" the moment the diver emerges from the ocean. Bounds is a sub-contractor for treasure hunter Mel Fisher's company in Sebastian. Fisher's daughter Taffi believes the two pieces come from one of the lost Spanish galleons of the 1715 fleet. That's the fleet of 11 ships sunk by a hurricane off of what is now known as the Treasure Coast.

Battle between Spain and Florida deep-sea explorers continues
The Spanish government said that it had proof that a treasure salvaged from an Atlantic shipwreck belonged to Spain, a claim that could spell victory in the battle to get the booty from U.S. salvage company Odyssey Marine Exploration. Officials said that the load of gold and silver coins came from a Spanish naval ship and should be returned to Spain. "The mystery is over. Odyssey stripped the grave site that is the Spanish warship Nuestra Seņora de las Mercedes," said James Goold, adding that the location and other things proved that they had come from the frigate, which British ships sunk in 1804.

A goldmine of information is buried online for treasure hunters - Resources
Whether you dream of unearthing Boadicea's broach in your back garden or some Spanish gold doubloons on your scuba-diving holiday, the treasure hunting allows your imagination to run unchained. The web has advice for beginners, stories of successful treasure hunters, recommendations for the best equipment (like metal detectors) and details of where you stand legally if you uncover something of value. One of the most successful treasure hunters of recent times was Mel Fisher, who discovered two Spanish galleons that sank off the Florida Keys in 1622 - he had to fight over 100 court cases to hold the treasure.