5 Treasure hunting companies that you didn’t hear about

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Many people have been captivated by treasure hunting since their childhoods. Some of them took their passion to the next level. They started businesses around it.

This article is about 5 of the most famous treasure-hunting companies in the world. In the end, there is a little bonus that you will definitely like.

Mel Fisher’s treasures

This company was founded by the famous treasure hunter Mel Fisher who successfully located many shipwrecks loaded with silver and gold.

One of his famous finds is the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha. He recovered 450 million dollars’ worth of artifacts. The ship’s cargo included 40 tons of silver and gold and many Columbian emeralds.

Many of his finds are displayed at Mel Fisher’s Treasures Museum and Store in Sebastian, Florida. Fisher died after a life full of achievements. His business is run by his heirs.

Queens Jewels, LLC

This company is owned by Brent Brisben. He is an American treasure hunter. This company’s most famous achievement is the recovery of millions of dollars’ worth of relics from the 1715 treasure fleet.

715 Royal Eight Escudo, Kmwht277, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1715_Royal.jpg, CC-BY

Brent wasn’t the one who located it. He bought the exclusive salvage rights from Mel Fisher. The latter is the one who located the shipwreck. There are 11 sunken ships underwater that were loaded with tons of goodies.

In my opinion, working with Queens Jewels, LLC is a good choice. Because the shipwreck is already located. You won’t waste any resources looking for something that may never find.

In addition to that, the relics are easy to recover. They are 30 miles away from Florida and 15 feet deep. There’s no need for sophisticated equipment, a diver could simply do it.

Brent is always working on salvaging gold and silver from this location with the help of subcontractors.

His most famous operation was the recovery of 4.5 million dollars’ worth of relics on the 300th Anniversary of the fleet sinking.

Columbus-America Discovery Group

This company was led by  Tommy Thompson. They discovered the SS Central America on September 11, 1988. The ship’s cargo contained 30,000 pounds of gold.

The treasure is worth around $120 million. It is located off the Carolina coast. Salvaging the wreck isn’t an easy task. Remotely operated underwater vehicles are needed for such expeditions.

Tommy is a smart guy he used mathematics to locate the shipwreck. But, apparently, he wasn’t transparent and honest with his crew and sponsors.

He is now facing the repercussions of his deeds. The company is now run by Milt Butterworth.

Odyssey Marine Exploration

Odyssey Marine Exploration was founded and it is led by Gregory Stemm. This company discovered the SS Republic’s wreck in 2003.

This ship sank in 1865 off the coast of Georgia because of a hurricane. The cargo included US gold and silver coins. They are estimated to be worth $75 million.

Odyssey is also working on recovering gold from SS Central America. Columbus-America Discovery Group can no longer work on it.

Although this company is successful, it did a couple of mistakes. One of them is the Black Swan Project. They successfully located a Spanish sunken and recovered tons of silver.

But they didn’t coordinate with the Spanish government. They just hid the treasure in secret warehouses in the US.

It didn’t turn out very well for them, they had to ship it back to Spain. Moreover, they had to pay them $1 million dollar in compensations.

More info about this company here.

Shipwrecks, Inc

Shipwrecks, Inc is led by Edward Lee Spence. Over his career, he recovered 100 million dollars worth of artifacts. He discovered his first shipwreck when he was only 12. He worked on Spanish galleons, pirates’ ships, and civil war vessels. He has been described by the vice magazine as “a pioneer in the field of underwater archaeology”.

Copyrighted by Edward Lee Spence

His work has been sponsored by universities, a museum, and organizations. One of his most famous discoveries is the submarine, Hunley. And his favorite discovery is the Georgiana cruiser. It was loaded with $1 million dollars worth of cargo.

His successes are not the result of pure luck. He needed to work hard and gather as much information as he can to find it. You can find out more Shipwrecks, Inc here.

You can join them but…

There are two ways to join these companies: You can apply for a job or become an investor. Treasure hunting isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. This rarely happens. Excavating sunken ships needs a lot of money and the use of advanced equipment.

The minimum sum required depends from a company to another. As a general rule of thumb, you need to have somewhere around $1 million in order to join.

This is not possible for everybody. Moreover, you never find a treasure.

Locating shipwrecks needs a lot of time (years) and a lot of research. You need to study many historical documents. This is necessary to know the ship’s cargo and its route.

This is why these companies need to hire pro historians and archeologists. They also need scientists, technicians and pro scuba divers. So if you’re not one of these, you’re chances of getting hired are very slim.

So, does it mean you can’t get into treasure hunting?

Bear with me, I’ll show you another way that’s easier and less resource-intensive in the next paragraph.

Be your boss!

As you saw earlier, in order to join these companies, you need to be either highly qualified or rich.

However, you can work for yourself even if you have a limited budget. And you don’t need a Ph.D. either.

best metal detectorSimply forget about underwater treasures and focus only on buried treasures in the ground. You can find them by using a metal detector.

Scanning the ground with a detector doesn’t need a lot of know-how. You can learn how to use this device in no time.

It is a simple tool that can detect gold and other precious metals efficiently, even if they are a couple of feet deep. Moreover, they are affordable. Check this guide to learn more about them.

In the next paragraph, I’ll share with you a few real-life examples f people who used affordable metal detectors; And they successfully found a treasure.

You can be like them

I’ll give three quick examples (in the US, UK, and Australia) to show you that this is feasible.

*In the UK, thousands of treasures have been found in the last 25 years alone. I’ll mention only one of them: the Hoxne Hoard.

It included more than 100,000 items made mostly from precious metals. They were placed in a chest and buried on a farm. The gold’s weight was 7.7 pounds and silver weighs 52.4 pounds (24 Kg)!

A quick note: in England, treasures don’t have to be a chest loaded with gold. They need to be a handful of coins made from precious metals in order to be declared a trove. You can find more details here.

*In the US, in 2014 a large nugget was found in California. It weighs over 5 pounds. It was sold for 400,000 $. This is not the only huge find in the region.

There is still more gold waiting to be found; It was left from the gold rush era.

You only need a special metal detector powerful enough to detect nuggets. You can learn more about them in this guide.

*In Australia, multiple huge nuggets have been discovered. I’ll only speak about the Hand of Faith Nugget. It weighs nearly 60 pounds. And it was sold for over one million dollars. It was also discovered using a metal detector.


In this article, I listed 5 of the most famous and successful treasure hunting companies in the world. You can join their expeditions either by being a skilled diver, scientist, archeologist… or by investing your money.

There is also an alternative way to become a treasure hunter. It doesn’t require a lot of skills and it is affordable. Get a metal detector. More details about these devices here.

Treasure hunting is as easy as it appears to be in movies or in TV shows. Real-life treasure hunters spent years and even decades chasing their dreams.

You need to be patient and persistent before you get there. Finding a treasure isn’t 100% guaranteed. But having fun is…

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