Ben Costello is one of the original three directors (which included Ernie Richards and Phil Flemming) who started the 1715 Fleet Society in 2008. He is an attorney from Washington, Pa. whose passion for shipwreck coins in general and the 1715 Fleet, in particular, began as an offshoot of his interest in numismatics which dates back to his early childhood. As a collector of early American U.S. coppers, he gravitated toward shipwreck coins because as he likes to say, “These are coins that talk. They have a story to tell. Unlike most collectible coins, you can hold a shipwreck coin in your hand and know exactly where it came from. You know its history and its story. This is what intrigues me the most about these coins. “I feel a connection to its history”.
Mr. Costello is the Chairman of the Board and his main role within the Society is to manage the website and provide content. He authors many of the articles found on the site and provides the text for the monthly feature known as the “Treasure of the Month”. In 2017 he, along with his co-Directors at the time Ernie Richards and Phil Flemming, authored the Society’s first book, “Treasures of a Lost Fleet”. He also works closely with the Society’s Academic Coordinator, Phil Flemming, to plan educational conferences.
The Society has already had two very successful conferences in Vero Beach (2015) and St. Augustine (2017). The conferences focused on different aspects of the 1715 Fleet story, how it was lost, rediscovered and recovered. A third conference was scheduled to be held in Havana, Cuba in March 2020. However, due to the Covid pandemic, the conference had to be rescheduled. A date has yet to be ascertained due to ongoing Covid.
As Chairman of the Board, he is also involved with fundraising for the new 1715 Fleet Society 501c(3) nonprofit corporation.
Mr. Costello resides with his wife in the village of Venetia, Pennsylvania.