Sunken Treasure! Mere mention conjures up visions of elegant clipper ships, towering Spanish galleons and colorful pirates. Visions of gold doubloons, silver bars and jewel-studded medallions. We grew up with romantic nomenclatures describing far away places, “The Spanish Main,” or “The Spice Route.” As children we dreamed at some time or another of being on the trail of buried pirate booty – of rescuing, or being rescued.
Do these treasures really exist? Ah, most certainly they do! Treasures to satiate desire. historians and underwater explorers will tell of the skeletal remains of shipwrecks which can be located along every mile of the world’s coastlines And that the US National Debt could be thrice paid with the value of their precious cargoes.
To the salvor the recovery of sunken treasure is not just the return on a high-risk venture. But rather it is a journey to a place where the past and present merge. On the surface, it is the 21st Century. Beneath the wave the salvor can walk the decks of a once proud Spanish galleon. He can hold history in the palm of his hand.
For years we have been collectors. As children we collected shells by the sea. As we grew older we collected ornaments for our homes. The opportunity to collect sunken treasures would seem a natural extension of our childhood desires.
But what is the essence of treasure? Is it a mere antique? Oh no. It is a time capsule, a window into the distant past. History, it’s galloping away over the horizon. Treasure is a way of recalling a grand adventure no longer accessible in our world. Enjoyment is derived from its legend, its own unique story, because there are no two pieces alike. It represents an opportunity to halt the inevitable changes which happen through time. It represents permanence, capturing history in such a manner that it can be turned about, observed and examined. One can view it years later and have it still be as striking and beautiful as the day it was acquired.
Sunken treasure. It is an everlasting mark, which looks on tempests…and is never shaken.