Blackbeard's beloved ship Queen Anne's Revenge sank off the coast of North Carolina in the 18th Century, and now researchers have recovered a sword handle and some gold stashed aboard.
The sword guard you see above would have rested between the sword and the handle, and an x-ray revealed a little hole bored in it where you might hang a loop of jewelry - sort of the pirate sword equivalent of a cell phone charm.
Last week National Geographic reported on several other items recovered from the ship, including these tiny nuggets of gold that were hidden in a keg of what was once ammunition. Researchers speculate that one of the shipmen probably hid his gold in there and then it was lost when the ship sank.
Another bit of treasure recovered was this navigational instrument called a "chart divider." According to National Geographic:
Navigational instruments were favorite targets of looting pirates, because the tools could easily be sold or traded, said archaeologist David Moore of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, who is working on the wreck site.
There was also this gold apothecary weight, inlaid with the fleur de lis, a symbol of French royalty, which corroborates the story that Blackbeard stole the ship from France. Apothecary weights might have been used by a ship's doctor, or perhaps by Blackbeard himself for measuring the weight of gold he'd stolen.
You can find more cool images and back story via National Geographic