This beautiful artifact was recovered by BWVI from the wreck the Santa Margarita a Spanish galleon that sank in 1622. The Golden Chalice remains one of the most beautiful and exquisite treasures ever discovered.
The saga of the Santa Margarita begins in 1622. Namesake of the patron saint of homeless people, midwives and reformed prostitutes, Santa Margarita was a Spanish galleon of 600 tons, armed with twenty-five cannon. One of a fleet of 28 ships, she was voyaging to Spain with an enormous cargo of plundered New World treasures. In registered wealth, the Santa Margarita carried 166,574 silver “pieces of eight” treasure coins, more than 550 ingots of silver weighing some 10,000 pounds, and over 9,000 ounces of gold in the form of bars, discs and bits. Additionally, there was contraband — a fortune in “unregistered” treasure having been smuggled on board to avoid paying a 20 percent tax to the Spanish king. The Santa Margarita also carried riches in the form of copper, silverware, indigo, and personal possessions of officers, passengers, and crew, including medical tools, navigational instruments, gold coins, and precious jewelry of almost unimaginable opulence.
Salvage crews operating out of Havana recovered much treasure shortly after her sinking. Nearly 400 years later BWVI found some of the treasure they left behind.
Our business combines a diverse range of knowledge and skills, skilled professionals in a wide range of disciplines are required to operate effectively. Administrators, historians, archivists, divers, mechanics, technicians and sailors and just some of the specialists that make up the Blue Water team.
Image of one of BWVI’s ships, the Blue Water Rose. This is a marine research vessel equipped with the latest state of the art technology and can support multiple dive teams during operations.