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10 Days of Astonishing Shipwreck Treasures: The Ship of Gold

January 28th, 2016 by Piper Smith

Day three.

The Ship of Gold ($100-150 million).

The S.S. Central America sank during a hurricane in September 1857 carrying 15 tons of gold. Its sinking greatly added to the “Panic of 1857” in the United States which in turn led to the first worldwide economic crisis. After its discovery in 1987 and the subsequent excavation, 39 insurance companies claimed they had a right to the gold and artifacts recovered because of damages paid by them in the 19th century. Legal battles ensued which ultimately saw the discovery team ending up with 92 percent of the gold. One of the gold bars discovered became a very important piece of currency after selling for $8 million–a worldwide record at the time.