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Shipwreck divers find antique gold chain off Florida

Bill Burt
A centuries-old, 40-inch-long gold chain found off the Florida Keys is shown in this photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau on Thursday. The chain has an enameled gold cross and two-sided engraved religious medallion. Sharon Wiley / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Shipwreck experts are evaluating a centuries-old 40-inch gold chain plucked from the seafloor while searching for a 17th-century sunken Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys.

The piece is tentatively valued at about $250,000. It is believed to be from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank during a 1622 hurricane. It was found Wednesday by divers from Mel Fisher's Treasures about 35 miles west of Key West.

The chain has 55 links, an enameled gold cross and a two-sided engraved religious medallion featuring the Virgin Mary and a chalice.

In this March 24, 2011 photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Bill Burt, a diver for Mel Fisher's Treasures, shows a centuries-old, 40-inch-long gold chain he found off the Florida Keys. Shipwreck salvors are evaluating the gold chain, with an enameled gold cross and two-sided engraved religious medallion, plucked from the sea floor while searching for a 17th-century sunken Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys. Tentatively valued at about $250,000, the piece is believed to be from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha that sank during a 1622 hurricane. It was found Wednesday by divers from Mel Fisher's Treasures searching for the sterncastle of the Atocha, 35 miles west of Key West. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Sharon Wiley ) NO SALES Sharon Wiley / Florida Keys News Bureau

In 1985, the Fisher crew recovered more than $450 million in artifacts and treasure from the Atocha shipwreck, but part of the ship has not been found.