Thursday, May 28, 2015Thursday, May 28, 2015

Treasure hunters recover $1.6 million in gold from 1857 shipwreck

Published on May 6, 2014 2:14 AM

CHARLESTON (REUTERS) - A deep-ocean exploration company in Florida says it has recovered nearly 1,000 ounces of gold, worth US$1.3 million (S$1.6 million) at current gold prices, on a reconnaissance dive to an historic Atlantic Ocean shipwreck.

The dive confirmed that the ship had not been disturbed since 1991 when another company stopped recovery work, Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration, announced on Monday. The ship's sinking in 1857 with 21 tons of gold aboard in a hurricane off the coast of South Carolina sparked a US banking panic.

Recovered gold included five gold ingots and two $20 Double Eagle coins, an 1857 coin minted in San Francisco and an 1850 coin minted in Philadelphia. The gold ingots were stamped with the manufacturer's "assay-mark" and weigh from 96.5 to 313.5 troy ounces.

US $20 Double Eagle coins fetch an average of US$5,000 from collectors, Odyssey's chief operating officer Mark Gordon told Reuters last week.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!