The Most Valuable Shipwreck Discovery of All Time

The World’s most valuable Shipwreck treasure

The San Jose was found at the bottom of the ocean containing billions of dollars of treasure once destined for Spanish shores. More than 300 years ago the ship was sunk in a battle between British and Spanish.
“The most valuable shipwreck discovery of all time” the early 18th-century Spanish galleon was packed full of South American precious metals and gems. For 300 years the treasure has sat on the ocean floor off the coast of Columbia.

The San Jose was one of the first to attempt crossing the Atlantic with the American treasure in 1708

The San Jose was one of the first to attempt crossing the Atlantic with the American treasure in 1708. The King of France, Louis XIV, needed the bounty to fund his war, and ordered a French fleet to accompany the San Jose and three other galleons across the ocean. However, the French ships were delayed, and the commander of the Spanish fleet, Admiral Jose Fernandez de Santillan, decided to journey alone.


With about 600 manning the ship, the San Jose set sail to its last voyage on May 28, 1708, carrying half of the treasure. They were headed for Colombia and then Europe until four English ships intercepted.

Weighed down and powerless to escape the English, the Spanish had no choice but to fight. In the midst of the cannon fighting the San Jose erupted into a fiery blaze and sank. The records are inconclusive on whether this was because of an explosion in the ship’s own gun powder or a structural collapse was caused by the British. Apparently, the ship was already leaking and had a compromised hull because of damage by rot and worms.

Why is the Treasure still down there?

For 309 years the wreck and watery graves of the sailors have gone undisturbed my humanity. But it’s the legal war that’s gearing up around the ownership of the wreck that may keep that treasure down there for even longer.

Colombia’s president claims that his country located the Spanish ship off the coast of Cartagena. However, a private U.S. salvage firm Sea Search Armada claims that it found the wreck more than 30 years ago. Then there’s Spain, which will most likely put a claim on this ship and the remains of its crew that went down with it.