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Gold coins found on sea floor amid wreckage of ship that was sunk over 300 years ago

Pieces of gold can be seen at the site of the shipwreck off Colombia. (Colombian Presidency/AFP)

Colombia's army has shared spectacular images of the historic San Jose galleon shipwreck, hidden underwater for three centuries and believed to have been carrying riches worth billions of dollars in today's money.

“The San José was a 62-gun, three-masted galleon that was sunk by the British with 600 people on board in 1708 in the War of Spanish Succession  before being found in 2015 laden with gold and valuables now thought to be worth $17 billion,” according to a Newsweek report.

Columbia's Authorities said they had also discovered two more shipwrecks during their observation mission — a colonial-era galleon and a schooner from the post-colonial period.

Four observation missions using a remotely operated vehicle were sent to the wreck at a depth of almost 3,100 feet off Colombia's Caribbean coast, the army said in a statement.

Cannons partially covered by mud are visible alongside porcelain crockery, pottery, glass bottles and gold pieces, the statement said.

These missions, carried out by the navy under the supervision of the culture ministry, found the galleon untouched by "human intervention," it added.