Gov. Rick Scott visited a Key West museum Friday to select shipwreck artifacts to be displayed in the Governor’s Mansion this month, the Florida Keys News Bureau announced.
The artifacts, currently conserved at Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, were salvaged from 16th and 17th century Spanish shipwrecks off the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. They are expected to be exhibited at the mansion during National Hispanic Heritage Month, the bureau said.
"Part of the history of Florida is all the treasure ships, what Mel Fisher did, the ships that were coming back and forth from Spain," he said. "My wife has opened up the mansion to a lot more children coming through, and it's a way for them to learn a lot more about the history of the state."
Scott viewed gold bars, a 77.7-karat emerald, crossbows and a fish spear. The governor also tried on a gold "money chain," according to the service.
The artifacts were salvaged from Nuestra Senora de Atocha and Santa Margarita, both which sunk off Key West in 1622.
Also available were pieces from the Santa Clara, one of the oldest shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere. The ship was believed to be owned by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, who in 1565 established a European settlement in what is now St. Augustine.