Ring with an emerald from a 400-year-old shipwreck is up for auction for Ukraine aid
The 6.25-carat emerald that was on the Spanish ship Nuestra Señora de Atocha, which sank in a hurricane in 1622, will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels for between $50,000 and $70,000, according to the publication. Smithsonian.
The Atocha was a ship intended to support Spanish colonization and was returning from an expedition in Havana when she was caught in a hurricane and sank. The same fate befell another ship, the Santa Margarita. The ships remained underwater near what is now Florida for over 300 years.
In the 1960s, treasure hunter Mel Fisher discovered the “Santa Margarita” off the coast of Florida. Finally, in 1985, Fisher and his team of treasure hunters, after a long search, found the main building of the Atocha, and with it the treasure trove. In addition to 30 kilograms of Colombian emeralds, the ship carried 180,000 silver coins, 24 tons of Bolivian silver, 125 gold bars and a collection of Venezuelan pearls.
After Fisher’s initial discoveries, the state of Florida claimed the treasure, but after a lengthy legal battle, the US Supreme Court in 1982 gave all rights to treasure hunters.
One of the expedition’s sponsors was Frank Perdue, the late CEO of Perdue Farms. He received part of the Atocha treasure, the total value of which exceeded a billion dollars. Purdue donated most of them to the Smithsonian Institution and the Delaware Technical College, but kept one item for himself, an emerald, from which he made an engagement ring for his fiancee Mitzah, whom he married in 1988.
“Although Frank donated almost all the coins and other artifacts he received from the Atocha, he kept this thing because he was fascinated by the romance of history, I’m not surprised that he kept the emerald,” the widow said.
Mitzi Perdue, who visited Ukraine in the summer, decided to put the emerald up for auction to support humanitarian work in our country. The money will be transferred to a foundation that provides humanitarian support in Ukraine, and they will provide those in need with medicines, baby food, food, warmth, housing, and even evacuation.