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Sale proceeds of emerald recovered from 1622 shipwreck to benefit Ukrainians

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Posted at 5:31 PM, Dec 08, 2022

The proceeds of a recently sold ring discovered more than 300 years after surviving a shipwreck near Florida will be donated to help those in war-torn Ukraine.

The Atocha emerald ring, part of a treasure trove of jewels on a ship that sank in 1622 near the Florida Keys, sold for $1.2 million Wednesday at a Sotheby's Auction in New York, Forbes and CNN reported.

According to the auction house, the sale proceeds would help women and children in Ukraine.

The history of the 5.27-carat is quite fascinating.

The emerald, along with many other treasures, were discovered in 1985 by a treasure hunter, who spent 16 years looking for the long-lost shipwreck, the auction house said. The search was sponsored by famed chicken producer Frank Perdue, who was gifted the ring after it was found, according to Sotheby's.

In 1988, Perdue gifted the jewel to his wife philanthropist Mitzie Perdue, the auction house said.

Mitzie Purdue, who is an advocate against human trafficking, wanted to do something to help those affected by the war in Ukraine.

"My late husband was the most philanthropic person I ever knew,” she said per the auction house. "And I’m certain he would feel that the highest and best use of this emerald is to help prevent suffering in Ukraine.”