Entries in Silver (2)


Nearly Fifty Tons of Silver Recovered from World War II Shipwreck

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An American company has made what is being called the heaviest and deepest recovery of precious metals from a shipwreck.

The Tampa, Fla.-based Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. announced Wednesday that it had recovered 48 tons of silver bullion from the SS Gairsoppa, a sunken British cargo ship three miles below the surface of the waters off the coast of Ireland. Between the Gairsoppa, torpedoed by a German U-boat during World War II, and the SS Mantola, sunk by a German submarine during World War I, Odyssey said in a press release that about 240 tons of silver may be recovered by the end of the operation.

The recovery is being made under a contract awarded by the U.K. government, which will keep 20 percent of the cargo's value, estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars. The Gairsoppa became U.K. property after the government paid the owners of the ship an insurance sum of £325,000 in 1941. Records indicate the silver was valued at £600,000 in 1941.

The initial recovery of 48 tons consists of 1,203 silver bars and has been transported to a secure facility in the United Kingdom, according to the company.

"With the shipwreck lying approximately three miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, this was a complex operation," Odyssey CEO Greg Stemm said in Odyssey's release.

Odyssey contracted JBR Recovery Ltd., a European silver recovery and precious metal processing company, to assist in refining and monetizing the recovered silver.

The Gairsoppa and Mantola shipwrecks were discovered in 2011, and Odyssey conducted reconnaissance dives at both sites in March and April 2012. Recovery operations began in late May.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Treasure Hunt! 5 Stashes of Gold, Silver Waiting to Be Found

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Gold coins, statues studded with diamonds and other precious stones. A trove of artifacts with a value of more than $22 billion.

That's what's facing -- and causing much debate among -- politicians, religious leaders and historians in Kerala, India, where a bounty of riches was recently found in a 16th-century Hindu temple.

Six days of searches ordered by India's Supreme Court unearthed treasures upon treasures donated during hundreds of years by temple patrons.

E. Lee Spence, an underwater archaeologist and well-known treasure hunter in South Carolina, called the find in India "amazing."

He said that an aspiring treasure finder didn't have to head across the world to uncover riches, though.

"There are multibillion-dollar treasures on this side of the world that can be found," Spence said.

With the riches at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple causing a major stir, ABC News put together a list of five unfound treasures that still have hunters and historians perplexed.

The Amber Room: Dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the Amber Room was crafted almost entirely of six tons of glowing amber. It was estimated to be worth $150 million in 2008.

Built by Prussian King Frederic the First, it dazzled kings and queens for 300 years and was sent to Russia as a gift in 1716. During World War II, the Nazis moved the German-made room to the Konigsberg Castle where it was put on display.

After the tide of war turned, the Germans boxed it up and it hasn't been seen since. The room was recreated in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Blackbeard's Treasure:
Though artifacts from Blackbeard's flagship -- the Queen Anne's Revenge -- are on display at a North Carolina museum, one won't find any treasure left by man the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum calls "the most notorious pirate who ever sailed the high seas."

According to David Moore, a nautical archaeologist at the North Carolina Maritime Museum, Blackbeard ran his ship aground, giving him and his crew time to remove all valuables. According to lore, Blackbeard responded when asked about where he'd buried his treasure that nobody but he and the devil knew where it was.

Treasure of Lima: In 1820 Spanish leadership and clergy in Lima, Peru, shipped their riches to Mexico under the command of a Capt. William Thompson. The valuables were worth nearly $60 million and included gold statues and jeweled swords.

Thompson killed everyone on the ship and sailed to Cocos Island near Costa Rica and buried the treasure in a cave. He did try to recover the loot but was unsuccessful as were many others.

Montezuma's Treasure:
Aztec emperor Montezuma collected his treasures -- including gold, silver and sculptures -- during years of deadly conquests.

After the emperor was killed by his people, explorer Hernan Cortes and the Conquistadors fled Mexico, dumping the riches they'd stolen from the emperor into the street. Later, with a larger team, they returned and Cortes and his men searched the lands looking for the treasure but found nothing.

Some historians say the treasure remains where the Conquistadors dropped it -- underneath the city.

Yamashita's Gold: No one is absolutely certain that this treasure exists but many books, articles and websites exist on the story.

Legend goes that during World War II, Japan sent its war loot to the Philippines.

The story goes that when the ship arrived in the Philippines, a Japanese general named Tomoyuki Yamashita was assigned to hide the treasure in tunnels. It's said that after the war ended, Japan had the treasure returned but historians have never found credible proof that the stash ever existed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio