Water, ground, and sand hide a wide variety of valuable troves. Some of them are so big that when the riches were found, the news spread all over the world. Below you’ll find ten most valuable treasure troves found over the past 100 years.
1. S.S. Central America Shipwreck Treasures
S.S. Central America sunk in 1857. The coaster set sail from the port of Colon with 477 passengers and 101 crew and sailed to New York. Besides the passengers, the ship also carried 10 000 kilos of gold.
On 9 September 1857, the ship was caught in a hurricane near North Carolina. On 11 September, the storm became stronger, and the ship sails were shredded, it was taking on water. The wind speed was about 165 km/h.
There was a leak in the ship hull, and she started sinking slowly. The crew desperately tried to save it, and they struggled for over two days. But despite the crew efforts, the boat with all its gold cargo sunk by the evening.
Only 153 passengers were lucky to survive, these were mainly women and kids, and as a result of the sinking, over 400 people drowned.
In September 1988, 131 years later, the Columbus-America Discovery Group of Ohio found the sunken coaster. The gold cargo of the vessel was brought to the surface. The recovered gold value is estimated to be $100 million in total.
2. Titanic relics that cost $180 000 000
On 10 April 1912, the ship started her voyage from Southampton to New York. The boat had about 1317 passengers and 908 crew aboard. However, she didn’t make it to the point of destination.
Overnight on 14 – 15 April 1912, the coaster stroke an iceberg and started to sink in the North Atlantic Ocean. At 2:20 on 15 April, the Titanic broke apart and then foundered; 1496 people died.
On 1 September 1985, the ship was found. Gold ingots weren’t brought to the surface, but any small piece of sunken relics or parts of the boat – a watch, a facing rivet, portlights, some coaster decorations – all of these were sold at auctions.
The Titanic is currently being sold in pieces. That is a rather useful thing for those who brought her relics to the surface. The approximate value of these relics is about $180 million.
3. The Treasure of the SS Gairsoppa, North Atlantic
In North Atlantic, more than 60 tons of silver ingots have been brought to the surface from the sunken ship. SS Gairsoppa, The British merchant freighter, was carrying a cargo of pig iron, tea, and silver bullion; it was sunk by a torpedo fired by a German submarine in 1941.
A famous American company, Odyssey Marine Exploration, worked on recovering the silver ingots from the sunken ship.
The task was somewhat challenging since the ship was located about 5 kilometers deep underwater, so they had to use a deep-sea robotic technology to succeed.
According to the agreement, Odyssey Marine Exploration owns 80% of recovered silver ($28 million); the rest is left for the U.K. Department for Transport.
4. “Black Sam” Bellamy’s treasures
Samuel Bellamy was born in 1686, and later, he was called Balck Sam or Black Bellamy. At the age of 18, he joined Benjamin Hornigold’s gang and became a pirate in the Caribbean sea.
In 1717 Black Sam captured a trade ship called the Whydah that carried 4.5 tons of gold and coins. Sometime later, the boat got caught in a severe storm which has never happen, not then or ever near the coast of New England. The ship stroke a reef and sunk.
267 later, Barry Clifford found it and recovered the ship cargo that cost approximately $350 million. The cargo value consists not only of the gold weight but also of the historical importance of the relics.
5. Nuestra Senora De Atocha, a Spanish Treasure Galleon
Treasures of Nuestra Senora De Atocha are likely to be the most famous ones of all brought to the surface. This ship was part of the Spanish Royal fleet. Except for fighting with their ‘good’ neighbors, the squadron also had to perform conveying tasks and to transport various cargos from one point of destination to another.
During one of these voyages on 4 September 1622, the convoy consisted of 28 ships got caught in the storm, and as a result, eight ships of 28 sunk. At that, about 550 people died, and the value of the lost cargo was more than 2 million pesos.
The story continued only in 1970 when Nuestra Senora De Atocha wreck treasures caught the interest of a professional riches hunter Mel Fisher. The company he founded spent 15 years searching the wreck of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha.
It was in 1985 when the fortune smiled on the treasure hunters since before this; their findings were valuable, but not that numerous.
Finally, the treasure hunters team found what they were looking for. The treasure from the sunken ship contained plenty of coins, gold and silver ingots, ancient jewelry, and precious stones. All these valuable findings, according to different estimations, cost about $400-500 million. However, most of the riches are left on the ocean bottom, since it’s been a very long time since the shipwreck and the ocean currents have spread the valuable cargo of the ship over many kilometers underwater.
6. Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, a Spanish Navy Frigate (Portugal)
In 2007 American Company Odyssey Marine Exploration specializing on treasure hunting reported that it had found the wreck of the old Spanish frigate Nuestra Senora De las Mercedes that in 1804 was carrying a cargo of gold and silver coins made in Latin America as well as ingots and various jewels.
By decision of a court (after the legal proceedings that lasted for five years), all valuable findings that were brought to the surface were acknowledged to be Spanish heritage. After this, 14 tons of treasures were carried by two planes of Spanish Air Force from the USA to Madrid. I can only imagine how happy the Spanish government was – the approximate value of the received relics was almost EUR 400 million.
7. The most massive hoard of Celtic coins found on Jersey island, France
The cache found on a British island Jersey that is close to the coast of France rightfully pretends to be one of the most valuable riches in history.
Two amateur hunters found over seven hundred kilos of gold and silver coins. Celts probably bespotted the coin hoard in contemplation of the Roman army invasion in about 50 B.C.
To get the hard-packed coins from the ground to the surface, they needed a loading crane. The hoard value is estimated from 3 to 10 million pounds sterling.
8. The Staffordshire Hoard, the U.K.
While many teams and companies look for riches underwater, on the ground treasures and hoards are often found using metal detectors (according to “Undercoil.com“)
In summer 2009, a treasure hunter Tery Herbert was looking for coins on his neighbor’s field and found loads of ancient silver and gold objects. The lucky digger found more than 3.500 valuable objects.
The hoard contained over five kilos of gold and twice less silver – this is the mass of the detected cache. The value of The Staffordshire Hoard is over 3 million pounds sterling.
9. Roman Coins found in the County of Somerset (The Frome Hoard), the U.K.
The hoard consisted of 52.5 thousand coins dated back to the III century A.D. was found in the County of Somerset in April 2010 by metal detectorist David Krisp. He has been prize hunting for over 20 years already. These ancient Roman coins weighted 160 kilos, and the value of the finding was 3.3 million pounds sterling.
10. Padmanabhaswamy Temple treasure, India
In June 2011, in the Indian city, Thiruvananthapuram, in the state of Kerala, the biggest trove of all times was found. When studying the underground vaults of Padmanabhaswamy Temple, archeologists were extremely surprised to find enormous riches.
These contained tons of gold and numerous precious stones. The total value of the hoard was more than $20 million (it’s not a typo!). All these treasures were neither more nor less than donations collected during several centuries and hidden from the world by priests.
The specialists consider a giant solid gold statue of the god Vishnu to be the most precious object from all the treasures found there.