Wreck of SS Central America Found with Treasure of Gold, Silver Coins, Bullion, Nuggets and Art

GOLD and silver coins glinting in the murk. Bullion bars scattered over the seabed. It’s the stuff of treasure-hunting fantasies. But this time it’s for real. Treasure hunters from Odyssey Marine Explorations have been diving of the coast of South Carolina. They’ve come back with a haul of untold riches. More than 13,500 gold and silver coins have been recovered — along with “significant items of cultural heritage”, their press release statement reads. The commercial treasure hunting firm has releases an inventory of what it has pulled from the 1857 wreck of the S.S. Central America. The ship was first discovered in 1988. But, as it sits at a depth of 2.2 kilometres, salvage efforts have proven difficult. Not to mention the legal suits: Some 39 insurance companies placed a claim on any salvage recovered from the site. Little wonder why.
It has since proven to be an undersea treasury. Among coins are high-denomination golden “double eagles”. And that’s before you consider the ingots and nuggets.
“(The ship is) a time capsule of virtually all the coins that were used in 1857,” said Bob Evans, for Recovery Limited Partnership — the company sponsoring the search.
“The variety and quality of the coins being recovered is just astonishing.” No estimated value of the haul has yet been released by the treasure hunters. The company says it will release a further report on Friday. An earlier report, in May, stated that the first two-hour exploration dive recovered about 1000 ounces of gold, which was worth about $1.5 million SS Central America was caught in a hurricane on September 12, 1857 and sank 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina. The ship was carrying 425 passengers. Other objects among the find are an alabaster figurine, a photographic plate and wooden gaming pieces.
The recovery of the treasure isn’t the first for Odyssey Marine. For example about 51,000 gold coins were recovered from the SS Republic, selling for millions.
SS Republic sank off the southeast coast of the US in 1865.The $10 and $20 gold coins found in the wreck and sold by Odyssey Marine fetched almost $7,000 a coin.
This article first appeared on news.com.au

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