Spanish Galleon Atocha

Creating treasures from the deep

By Erik Sanzenbach - St. Tammany News

What do you do with ingots of silver and copper that date back to 1622, and were discovered by treasure hunters at the bottom of the ocean 360 years later ?

If you are Jack Mangé, you get some of that treasure from the deep and start making beautiful jewelry.

That is what Mangé has been doing since 1989, when he approached famous treasure hunter Mel Fisher with the jewelry idea.

Ever since then the former marketing specialist turned jeweler has been doing, traveling around the country selling under his company’s name Treasure Sails Inc. the Ghost Galleon collection.
In 1622, the Spanish Galleon Atocha set sail from Cuba laden with a cargo of sliver and copper worth millions of dollars.

The Atocha disappeared at sea around Florida.

Almost 400 years later, treasure hunter Mel Fisher spent 19 years tracing down the Ghost Galleon and found it in 1985. After paying off his investors, Fisher decided to auction off some of the treasure in Las Vegas in 1988. Mangé was at the auction and saw the huge pile of silver and copper ingots and decided that jewelry would be a good way to use the treasure.

He approached Fisher, who told him to come to his home in Key West, Fla. When Mangé arrived, Fisher had forgotten about the conversation, so Mangé sent in a poem, via Fisher’s secretary, that he had written about the Atocha.

Fisher was impressed with the poetry, called in Mangé, who walked out of Fisher’s office that day with an ingot of silver. That was the start of Treasure Sails.

Since then, Mangé has bought five copper ingots and six silver ingots out of the 582 copper ingots and 1,000 silver ingots found by Fisher.

Mangé found out that the copper had 1/2 to 1 percent gold in them. He found a foundry that would melt the copper and then skim off the gold and impurities such as sand.