Author: Ben Costello

Ben Costello is a director of the 1715 Fleet Society and an attorney in Washington, PA. His full bio can be found here.


Regular updates from the 1715 Fleet Society

Treasure of the Month

Past and current featured treasures

This Day in Fleet History

Special days of significance to the 1715 Fleet

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This Day in Fleet History – October 8, 1964

The first public auction of gold coins recovered  from the 1715 Fleet shipwrecks off the coast of Florida by the Real Eight Company. Some of  the best condition specimens were offered for sale. The coins are sold through the auction house of Henry Christianson, Hoboken, New Jersey.

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October 2020 Treasure of the Month

Our Treasure of the Month for October is a departure from our usual treasure offerings.  Unlike most of our featured treasures it is not something that can be held in one’s hand and studied up close. It is not made of gold or silver, is not a valuable gem or rare artifact. And, unlike most

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This Day in Fleet History – September 16, 1714

Philip V marries Elizabeth Farnese of Parma by proxy. He saw her for the first time 3 months later. She exerted great influence over Spain’s foreign policy and was the de facto ruler of Spain from 1714 until 1746. She died on July 11, 1766.

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This Day in Fleet History – September 14, 1969

The New York Times reported that Stack’s had been appointed by the Real Eight Company as exclusive agent to handle the sale of gold and silver coins recovered by that company. The sale was to take place on Friday, September 19, 1969 at the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York.

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This Day In Fleet History – September 11, 1966

Newspaper article from the Miami Herald reports that archaeologists have pinpointed the site of a Spanish camp of 1715 shipwreck survivors. The owner of the land, Robert McClarty, has given the site to the state in return for an agreement to build a museum there. The site is now occupied by the McClarty Treasure Museum.

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 This Day in Fleet History – September 5, 1717 

The governor of the Bahama Islands issues a royal proclamation pardoning all pirates who surrender before September 5, 1718. Henry Jennings who, together with 300 men seized 1715 Fleet treasure that had been salvaged by the Spanish, wisely turned himself in. He lived the rest of his life a respected gentleman of means.

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1703 H Lima 8 Escudos

A Census of 1703 H Lima 8 Escudos

Greetings. One of our undertakings here at the Fleet Society is to carry out original research into anything Fleet related. In that regard, I would like to present a recent article written by Fleet Society Director and Academic Coordinator for the Society, Phil Flemming. Phil is a recognized expert in gold coinage of the Fleet

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September 2020 Treasure of the Month

Our Treasure of the Month for September features two silver eight reales from the Mexico City mint. Upon close observation, they do not appear to be particularly noteworthy, other than the fact that they are dated 1712 and 1715. There have been many auctions over the years that have offered similar coins for sale. So,

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3 Fathoms to a Fortune

3 Fathoms to a Fortune

Recently, I was contacted by Josh Steele, a local resident who sent me this video which was obtained from a website called  “3 Fathoms to a Fortune” was prepared in the early 1970s, probably 1973. The footage was from the mid-to-late 1960s. What follows is a description of the film as found on the

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Bonnie’s Quest

Next Saturday, August 15th, will mark the tenth anniversary of the recovery of one of the most spectacular artifacts ever found on any of the 1715 Fleet wreck sites, the “Pelican in Piety”. It was on Sunday August 15, 2010 that diver Bonnie Schubert was granted the honor of retrieving this important relic from Neptune’s

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August 2020 Treasure of the Month

Our Treasure of the Month for August has its origins in a prior treasure that we featured a few years ago in December, 2015. Here is the story. On Sunday, August 15, 2010 diver Bonnie Schubert found an impressive artifact at the Douglass Beach Wreck site south of Fort Pierce, Florida. The artifact, a gold

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History of 1715 Fleet Certificates of Authenticity

Recently I received a copy of the latest publication produced by Rob Westrick of New Iberia, Louisiana. Rob is a marine archaeologist with 30 years of experience working the 1715 Fleet wreck sites. Rob has published a number of books and articles on the 1715 Fleet as well as other historic shipwrecks. Rob’s latest effort

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The Research of Stephen M. Workman

The Fleet Society is pleased to introduce our newest member, Stephen M. Workman, Commander, USN (Ret.), of Melbourne, Florida. Following his naval career Commander Workman earned a MA in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology and a PhD in Coastal Resources Management from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. While at ECU he was a

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