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Rare emerald from Florida shipwreck to be auctioned off for Ukraine

Mel Fisher
Mel Fisher of Treasure Salvors Inc. examines some 2,300 emeralds found on the 17 century wreck of the Atocha some 35 miles from Key West, Fla., May 29, 1986. The emeralds were brought into Key West Wednesday and are said to be worth in the millions. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Cardenas)

(SEBASTIAN, FLA) — A rare emerald is going to be auctioned off at Sothebys in New York City. In the late 1980’s, the green gem was found among treasures on a ship that sunk off the coast of Florida 400 years ago.

Divers off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida discovered the 400-year-old shipwreck that they believe may have belonged to the French.

Divers with Global Marine Exploration say symbols of the fleur-de-lis and a French coat of arms were found. Archaeologists call the booty priceless and it is likely from the French colonial period around year 1560 and they may have sunk in the midst of a hurricane.

The six-and-a-quarter carat emerald was turned into a ring that will be auctioned on December 7th. Proceeds will go towards supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.