Thursday, March 31, 2005


Treasure hunters recover gold coins


The Herald
By Raymond Duncan
March 31 2005

MORE than 51,000 gold and silver coins have been recovered by deep-sea explorers from the shipwreck of a steamer that sank off the eastern United States a century and a half ago.

The SS Republic, which is thought to hold more than £100m of coins, potentially the richest marine salvage in history, went down in the Atlantic during a hurricane in 1865 while en route from New York to New Orleans.

The operation is being carried out by Odyssey Marine Exploration, a Florida-based salvage company. Odyssey, which found the wreck 1700ft down two years ago, has recovered a haul which includes a quantity of US gold "double eagles", currency from the late 19th century, as well as half-dollars and quarters.

The coins, which were brought to the surface with the help of a robotic remotely operated vehicle, have been graded by numismatics experts.

The vessel, a sidewheel steamer, was carrying 59 passengers, all of whom reached safety in lifeboats.

The coins were intended to help pay for reconstruction of the South after the civil war. It has been estimated that today they would be worth £75m to £113m.

Odyssey is also excavating, in partnership with the British government, the wreck of HMS Sussex, which sank off Gibraltar in 1694. The 157ft warship, was carrying nine tons of gold and silver coins that could be worth more than £2bn.


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?