As a military escort, the Atocha carried a company of 82 infantrymen to defend the vessel from attack and possible enemy boarding. For this reason, she was the ship of choice for wealthy passengers and carried a large percentage of the fleet's treasure.
"Set with a single rectangular step cut emerald measuring approximately 11.00 carats, the gold setting, cast and vigorously chased with strapwork and studded with rosettes, reveals the remarkable skills of the New World goldsmiths. The bezel setting, meticulously burnished, secures the stone at the girdle with gold extending up and into the crown of the gem, sealing it firmly in its setting. Although seawater seems to have seeped in behind the stone, it has remained secure for centuries."