According to the ships' manifests, $400 million worth of treasure was on board and so far only $175 million has been found, Brisben said.
Brisben's company bought the rights to the wreck site from legendary treasure hunter Mel Fisher in 2010. He allows others to search for gold under subcontracting agreements.
The Schmitts have been searching for treasure for years and before discovering the gold, a 2002 haul included a $25,000 silver platter. This is also not the first find for Brisben who found 51 gold coins in July worth around $250,000.
In accordance with U.S. and Florida law, the treasure will be taken into custody by the U.S. District Court in South Florida. The state of Florida will then be allowed to possess up to 20 percent of the find to put on display in a state-run museum. The remainder of the gold will be split evenly between Brisben's company and the Schmitt family.
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