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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News From September, 1964

Since retiring at the end of December 2020, I have had the opportunity to dig into all of the old archival records and documents that I acquired over the last 15 years. As a result, I have come across many interesting articles, records, letters and documents from the early days of salvaging the wreck sites

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September 2021 Treasure of the Month

Our Treasure of the Month for September is this beautiful gold box with a coral rosary and rings set with various gemstones. The recovery of this  fantastic treasure has a very interesting back story. On August 1, 1995 Mike Maguire was a part time carpet installer part time salvor working the wreck sites of the

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Chest of Silver Found

Recently we received an email from one of our members reporting a recent recovery of a chest of ornate silver pieces found by veteran salvor Mike Perna and his 1st Mate Milan Kalelkar. Please access this link for details of this historically significant find. Also see our Treasure of the Month for May 2021 which

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Santa Makes Appearance at ANA Show in Chicago

Here is an interesting story from Fleet Society Director John Pullin who recently attended the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Chicago. Our Director (see photo below) was having dinner when (in his own words) this occurred: “I went to a brew pub in Chicago for an early dinner. There was a mother, father and

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Real Eight Museum Post Card Collection

When the Real Eight Company opened its museum in Cape Canaveral (1968) they sold a number of interesting souvenirs in the gift shop. Among the items for sale were these post cards. You don’t see many post cards today but if you do see one of these we would suggest that you buy it as

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August 2021 Treasure of the Month

August’s Treasure of the Month is a group of Spanish silver reales from the 1715 Fleet collected by a long time resident of Florida’s renowned Treasure Coast. Our collector was not especially sophisticated in numismatics (as demonstrated by the fact that he kept the coins in a purple cloth “Crown Royal” bag) but knew enough

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1715 Fleet Society - Coin World July 2021 Cover - Lost Treasure Ships

Coin World Article Features Lost and Found Treasure Ships

The July 2021 edition of Coin World Magazine (on sale until August 9) features a very interesting article on Lost and Found Treasure Ships including the 1715 Fleet. Written for Coin World by Gerald Tebben, the article focuses on coins recovered from various shipwrecks and discusses grading of shipwreck coins, valuation, auctions, salvage stories, and

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Plus Ultra Cover Coin - Fourth Quarter 2014

Plus Ultra Cover Coin – Fourth Quarter 2014

This ruggedly handsome piece-of-eight was minted at the Mexico City facility. It’s a full date 1715 Mexico Eight Reales. 25.8 grams. Full and complete ‘OMJ’. All digits of date visible but not complete. Approximately 40% of shield visible … and extremely strong. Obverse hammer marks quite distinct, with one blunted corner visible. The blunted corner

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1715 Fleet Presentation for the George Washington Numismatic Association

Personal note: Recently I was invited to give a presentation to the members of the George Washington Numismatic Association (GWNA) in the nearby community of Washington, Pa. Founded in 1960, the Association is one of the oldest numismatic organizations in area.  The group is presided over by Thomas Uram (Fleet Society member # 23) who

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July 2021 Treasure of the Month

Our Treasure of the Month for July is courtesy of Frank Noga of Eastlake, Ohio. Frank acquired this cute little artifact from the legendary Tommy Gore who worked during the heyday of recovery operations in the 1960’s as a Marine Archaeological Field Agent for the State of Florida. Field agents were sent onboard salvage vessels

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Boys Find Remains of Ancient Man, July 1966

Before the Spanish arrived, Florida was already home to many Native American tribes including the Ais (or Ays), Apalachee, Seminole, Timucua and others. There is evidence to support that survivors of the 1715 Fleet disaster interacted with the Ais whose territory included coastal areas and islands from approximately Cape Canaveral to the Indian River. It

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An Old Argument Continues…

Recently, while searching through some archival material that we secured a number of years ago, I came across an interesting article  from September, 1966. It appeared  in the official publication of the Florida Secretary of State called In The Capital and was written by then Secretary of State, Tom Adams. “Are We Selling History For

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This Day in Fleet History – June 1st, 2003

The crew of the salvage vessel “Half Reale” captained by Jon Wilson, find an ornate gold box containing a seven-emerald gold cross, a large woven gold chain and two gold-and-emerald rings. Cabin Wreck, near Sebastian, Florida.

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June 2021 Treasure of the Month

For June’s Treasure of the Month we are featuring this beautiful eight escudos gold coin (or “cob ”)  from the Spanish colonial mint of Lima, Peru. Dated 1712, it is not particularly a rare date for coins of this mint and denomination found on 1715 Fleet wreck sites. In fact, in its collection, the State

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