Beach Facts & History

Greatest Shipwreck Treasures Ever Found

greatest-shipwreck-treasures-ever-found

We know that the RMS Titanic is probably the most famous shipwreck in history, but there are other shipwrecks that have taken place in the great oceans. As interesting as the shipwrecks are the treasures in them — and they are worth up to hundreds of millions of dollars!

1-black-swan-project-500-million

The “Black Swan Project” refers to a code name given by the Odyssey Marine Exploration for its discovery and retrieval of $500 million worth of gold and silver coins from a shipwrecked vessel. At first, they kept this project a secret, but it was later revealed that the name of the ill-fated vessel from where they recovered the treasures was a Spanish frigate called Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, which sank in 1804.

The discovery of the wreck yielded over 600,000 silver coins weighing more than 17 tons, hundreds of gold coins, jewels, and other artifacts.

2-atocha-motherlode-450-million

The recovered treasure from the Spanish ship Nuestra Senora de la Atocha, which sank in 1622 off the Florida Keys, was reported to be worth about $450 million. The mother lode consisted of gold, silver, and precious stones including the rare Muzo emeralds.

3-whydah-gally-400-million

The Whydah Gally was a fully rigged ship that was captured by the pirate Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy, who went on to capture many other ships along their way. The ship was finally wrecked due to heavy storms. The shipwreck remained undiscovered for 260 years until 1984. The treasure trove recovered from the shipwreck was worth over $400 million.

4-the-british-treasury-ship-or-the-ss-gairsoppa-210-million

The SS Gairsoppa was a British steam merchant ship launched in 1919 and went on to remain operative until World War II. In February 1941, as the Gairsoppa was making its way to Galway, Ireland, a German U-boat torpedoed the ship which led to its sinking; all 85 people on board perished. The ship was carrying 200 tons of silver when it sank.

The ship was found in 2011 off the coast of Ireland. About 48 tons of silver were recovered and were reported to be worth more than $210 million.

5-the-diamond-shipwreck-still-being-valued

The “Diamond Shipwreck” refers to the recovery of one of the biggest shipwreck treasure finds in history. The treasure trove was recovered from a 16th-century Portuguese trading vessel, which sank in 1533 due to a violent storm. The ship, later to be revealed as Bom Jesus, was carrying enormous treasures when it sank.

When the shipwreck was recovered, they unearthed tons of ingots of copper, silver, gold bullions, weapons, and elephant tusks, believed to be worth millions of dollars.

6-titanic-treasures-190-200-million

The treasures recovered from probably the most famous shipwreck in the history of mankind consisted of gold, silver, diamonds, artifacts, and other valuable items worth $190 to $200 million.

The RMS Titanic sank in 1912, and over 1,500 passengers and crew died in the tragedy.

Treasure of the SS Republic - $120 Million - $180 Million

The SS Republic was lost in 1865 due to a hurricane. The steamship was carrying silver and gold coins when it sank.

When the shipwreck was found in 2003, about one-third of the treasures were retrieved. They were estimated at $120 million – $180 million.

The Antikythera Treasures - #120 Million - $160Million

A ship sank near the Greek island of Antikythera as it was sailing through the Aegean sea more than 2000 years ago. The shipwreck was first discovered about 100 years ago. Among its treasures is the ancient computer, which helped people to track the movements of heavenly objects like the sun and the moon. Also included are gold jewelry, carved jars, marble and bronze statues, gold coins, and much more. These are valued from $120 million – $160 million.

Ship of Gold - $100 Million - $150 Million

The SS Central America aka “Ship of Gold” was a sidewheel steamer which sank in 1857 because of the strong hurricane, along with 420 people on board and a whopping 30,000 pounds (14,000 kilograms) of gold. This incident contributed to the Panic of 1857.

The ship was discovered in 1988 by the Columbus-America Discovery Group of Ohio. From the discovery, enormous amounts of gold were recovered from the shipwreck and they were valued around $100 million to $150 million. A 36-kilogram gold ingot was sold for $36 million, a record at the time.

10-belitung-shipwreck-90-million

The Belitung Shipwreck is the wreck of an Arabian sailing vessel called dhow that took place c. 830 AD. It is also known as Tang Shipwreck or Batu Hitam Shipwreck. After the ship successfully completed its journey from Africa to China, it sank while making its return near Belitung Island, Indonesia.

In 1998 the wreck was discovered by a group of fishermen in the Gelasa Strait, in 16 meters (51 feet) of water. The site of the wreckage was purchased from the fishermen and soon a local company in Indonesia started its excavation on it.

From the recovery of the ship’s cargo, the discovery team found what is known as “Tang treasure.” This consisted of three chief types of wares in the form of bowls: white-ware, made in Ding kilns and including the earliest known blue-and-white wares; the Changsa ware, which were manufactured in Tongguan kilns; and Yue ware from Zhejiang province.

The cargo also yielded the largest Tang dynasty cup ever found, a large silver flask, green-splashed bowls (popular in Iran), Central Asian and Persian motifs, boxes gilded with silver, gold bowls, and many other valuable artifacts. The treasure trove’s current value is around $90 million.

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