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From Our Editors
From model cars to butterflies, many hobbyists have a collection of personal treasures. In the late Mel Fisher's case, his happened to consist of tons upon tons of gold, silver, and jewels. A pioneering diver, Fisher made his name in 1985 with the discovery of the 1622 wreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Se?ora de Atocha, felled as it was transporting 40 tons of gold and silver back to Europe. Rather than using the haul to fill his swimming pools, he set about making his discoveries known to the world while continuing to explore the ocean floor for other wrecked 17th- and 18th-century ships. Today, Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum awes visitors with a look at its namesake's remarkable life and collection.
- Size: at least 10 mother lodes
- Eye Catcher: a gleaming golden whistle from the Margarita site
- The Collection: artifacts from a Spanish fleet that sank in 1715 on the treasure coast
- Hands-On: Visitors can lift an actual Atocha gold bar?and purchase authentic unique coins in jewelry settings, treasure recreations, or nautical gifts.