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Atocha "Golden Crew" men's gold ring, size 11, 18K, made by Jostens for Treasure Salvors in 1985

Currency:USD Category:Artifacts / Non-wreck Artifacts Start Price:1,500.00 USD Estimated At:2,000.00 - 3,000.00 USD
Atocha  Golden Crew  men's gold ring, size 11, 18K, made by Jostens for Treasure Salvors in 1985
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This item SOLD at 2012 Apr 11 @ 20:43UTC-4 : AST/EDT
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Atocha "Golden Crew" men's gold ring, size 11, 18K, 26.9 grams, made by Jostens for Treasure Salvors in 1985 and presented to original crew members when the mother lode was found, one of only 84 made. Popularly considered the "Super Bowl ring" of shipwreck salvage, this modern relic is highly coveted by treasure people who appreciate the significance of the Atocha find in 1985 and the popularity of Mel Fisher in general. Featured on the top is the universal dive flag of red with a white stripe, here crafted in quartz and corundum, circumscribed by the words "Atocha GOLDEN CREW", with 1622 Treasure Salvors Inc. / 1985 on the sides. The inside is engraved with TODAY IS THE DAY (curious that it is not the usual "Today's the day") and a mysterious "11.1", which at first seems like a date but does not correspond to any important date we know of (other theories include a reference to the size, ring number or to the Biblical Hosea 11.1). According to one of this ring's previous owners, Captain Craig Eubank, the recipients of these rings (men's and women's), which included secretaries and company officials, not just the divers, could inscribe whatever they wanted on the inside. As the participants in the 1985 "Mother Lode" recovery grow older, the 84 rings are becoming lost to time; to our knowledge this is the first one ever available for sale at auction. Much like an Oscar trophy or a Medal of Honor, these important rings will always have significance and value.

UPDATE NOTE: According to Captain Don Kincaid (photographer and original Vice President of Treasure Salvors from 1971 to 1987), who was one of the people in charge of approving the design of these rings, a second batch was offered for public sale in an advertisement in Skin Diver magazine probably 1986 or 1987. The first batch of rings were all engraved inside with the name of the recipient and number 001-085 (always in 3 digits). It may be assumed that the one offered here was from the second batch that was offered publicly since there is no 3-digit serial number or name.

UPDATE 2 According to Ed Hinkle, who worked for Treasure Salvors at the time the rings were made, the "Skin Diver ad rings" did not have the Treasure Salvors logo or the words "Atocha" or "Golden Crew," just "Dive Instructor." A call to Jostens at the time of the ad told Ed that only the original recipients could request a replacement "Golden Crew" ring, based on a list of personnel supplied to Jostens by Treasure Salvors.

>> We are left wondering why this ring appears to be one of the official "Golden Crew" rings yet does not have a name and number inside. Our best guess at this point is that it was some kind of "proof" or test issue, unless the original owner had his name and number removed (while resizing, for example).