Nothing Says “I Love You” Like a Centuries Old Solid Gold Chalice

The Robb Report, the definitive luxury lifestyle publication for those who really do have everything, has hit the holiday newsstands with its annual offering of the 21 Ultimate Gifts in the entire world.

This year, featured among indulgences that include a $44 million super-yacht and expedition, $20 million backyard home theme park, $9.78 million Bugatti sports car package, $2.5 million fighter jet training and combat battle experience, $1.75 million lion-saving expedition with National Geographic explorers—and other selections of almost unimaginable opulence, luxury and adventure—is the magnificent gold chalice discovered by Keith Webb’s Blue Water Ventures on the Santa Margarita shipwreck expedition.

Blue Water Ventures of Key West, joint-venture partner of Mel Fishers Treasures, made world-wide news in June of 2008 with the discovery of the precious and fantastically rare vessel, which has continued to hold sway over public imagination due the intriguing mystery of a yet unidentified coat of arms carved in its base.

In addition to a gripping feature article (pages 204 and 206) about the chalice itself by writer Kirstie Swinnerton, Robb Report Senior Vice President and Editor In Chief Brett Anderson devotes the entire From the Editor page (page 58) to Salvage and Salvation – a background history of the 1622 fleet and its mission, researched and written by Anderson himself.

Offered for the sum of $1.3 million, it is not every day that an artifact of this magnificence is made available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale will fund Blue Water’s continued search for the remains of the sunken galleon Santa Margarita.

The Robb Report is available at newsstands, at www.robbreport.com, and in single-issue downloads at www.zinio.com.

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Centuries-old gold and emerald ring discovered by divers on historic shipwreck site

Only a few days into launching their 2011 search and recovery season, divers for Keith Webb’s Blue Water Ventures of Key West have discovered an elegant gold and emerald ring, along with a gold “flake,” a piece of ornate silver, a silver “piece of eight” treasure coin, and numerous pieces of scattered shipwreck material in an area of the Florida Straits where the treasure galleon, Santa Margarita, was destroyed in 1622.

Contemporaneous eyewitness reports from survivors of the disaster described the vessel as having been swept on the crest of a wave over a barrier reef and driven forcefully into a sandbar, where hurricane force wind and waves beat the vessel to pieces.

Describing the moment that crew-diver, Sean Hogan, emerged from the sea with the centuries old emerald ring, Blue Water Rose Captain Dan Porter said, “I knew by the smile on his face what the color the object in his tightly closed fist would be. When Sean opened his hand not only did I see the gold I was expecting, but also a magnificent square cut emerald —very dark and very clear—probably about 1.5 to 2 ct. and absolutely beautiful. Sean has been with us about six months and is one of the strongest divers I have ever worked with.”

Hogan, who discovered the ring while diving with his leg in a cast, moved to Key West from the Chicago area in 2009 to attend the dive training program at Florida Keys Community College. “When I first spotted the gold I thought it was the link of a chain,” he said. Then I pulled it out and saw the dark, dark emerald. It was my first time seeing gold underwater, and when you see it, you just know it.”

Archaeologist James Sinclair described the ring as a “wonderful example of the baroque style popular during this period,” adding, “while relatively simple and unadorned in design, the use of gold and emerald speaks volumes as to the culture from which the owner and the object originated. Gold, then as now, was a symbol of status, so the owner of this antiquity was a high ranking and wealthy individual.”

Discoveries by Webb’s team on the Santa Margarita site since 2006 are valued at more than 16 million and include gold artifacts, chains and jewelry, gold bars, rare silver coins, weaponry, pre-Columbian treasures, and a lead box containing 16,184 extremely rare natural pearls.

Research by renowned historian Dr. Eugene Lyon indicates that over 800 ounces of registered gold, 145 silver bars, more than 80,000 silver coins, and potentially multi-millions in contraband and personal jewelry and wealth from the Santa Margarita still remain to be found.

For more information on Blue Water Ventures of Key West and the search for the Santa Margarita, visit www.bwvkw.com.

SeanHogan

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