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      As a kid, Mel was always digging up artifacts around the farms in North Carolina. The thrill of digging up pieces from the 1800s and post-Civil War period connected him to his ancestors and sparked his passion for history. He accepted a job in Florida to get closer to the shipwreck salvage activities. In his spare time, he pursued living the dream of every little boy, finding, recovering pieces of shipwreck treasure then doing the research and restoration. In 1989, he turned his passion into a viable business. Big Blue Wreck Salvage, Inc. was created to support commercial salvage projects and provide brokerage services to other investors involved in the recoveries to market and sell artifacts on their behalf. This forged the path to share the thrill of exploration, discovery and history and allowed people to get access to the recovered treasures.

      As time went on, he realized the market needed to be expanded to include women. Goldsmiths were hired to turn these one-of-a-kind hand struck coins into custom pieces of historical art. Jewelry opened an avenue for these beautiful images to be worn and admired instead of stored in a drawer or vault collecting dust. Coin jewelry is timeless and eventually become heirloom pieces that are passed down through generations as a remembrance of someone special in their life. It is gratifying to find and offer a one-of-a-kind, authentic and signature piece of history that resonates and brings so much joy.

      We have found a unique and different way to get people excited about history. To this day, watching someone’s eyes light up when putting a tangible piece of history into their hand is a magical and fulfilling moment! It sparks their imagination and allows them to connect to another time by realizing that it has been underwater for over 250 years or buried underground for more than 1000 years. We hope you enjoy exploring the treasures here and find your next favorite piece. 

      Click here for more stories and tales on our shipwreck and recovery adventures!