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First peek at 1804 Spanish shipwreck treasure worth $500M

  • Spain Shipwreck Treas_Leff (1).jpg

    Nov. 30, 2012- A silver coin from the shipwreck of an 1804 galleon "Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes" (AP)

  • Spain Shipwreck Treas_Leff.jpg

    Nov. 30, 2012 -Block of encrusted silver coins from the shipwreck of 1804 galleon, "Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes" a treasure worth an estimated $500 million.. (AP)

  • Spain Shipwreck Treas_Leff (2).jpg

    Nov. 30, 2012 - A worker holds up a gold tobacco box from the shipwreck of a 1804 galleon "Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes." (AP)

Spanish cultural officials have allowed the first peep at 16 tons of shipwreck treasure worth an estimated $500 million that a U.S. salvage company gave up after a five-year international ownership dispute.

A tiny portion of the loot from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, a galleon that sank off Portugal's Atlantic coast near the straits of Gibraltar in 1804, was shown to the media: 12 individual silver coins, a block of encrusted silver coins, two gold tobacco boxes and a bronze pulley.

Officials on Friday said some of the treasure will be put on display in museums next year. Spain got it from Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration in February after U.S. courts rejected arguments that the company was entitled to all or most of the treasure.