A high karat gold Pyx which was believed to have been hand crafted in the late 1600's - early 1700's for transporting a Eucharist (communion wafer) is seen in an undated photo. A Florida family of treasure hunters, Tuesday, displayed their latest finding from a 300-year-old shipwreck: the missing piece of an ornate gold holder used by clergy to hold the Eucharist for visits to the sick or infirm.
After the discovery last month, a team of Spanish historians realized the piece fit together with another artifact recovered 25 years ago. It formed an accessory called a pyx, worn on a chain around a high priest’s neck to carry the communion host. The dollar value is uncertain.
"It's priceless, unique, one of a kind," said Brent Brisben, operations manager for Queens Jewels, which owns rights to the wreckage, located in 15-foot (4.5-meter) deep Atlantic Ocean waters.
Schmitt, who lives near Orlando, last year discovered about $300,000 worth of gold coins and chains from the same wreckage, Brisben said. Schmitt's parents have hunted for sunken treasure as a hobby for a decade.
By law, the treasure will be placed into the custody of the U.S. District Court in South Florida, Brisben said. The state of Florida may take possession of up to 20 percent of the find. The rest will be split evenly between Brisben's company and the Schmitt family.