Odyssea recovers gold from SS Central America shipwreck

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Odyssea recovers gold from SS Central America shipwreck

May 07, 2014 - 13:54

More than 60 pounds of gold has been recovered from the 157-year-old shipwreck off South Carolina coast

The SS Central America in 1857 during a heavy storm while sailing from Panama to New York. It now rests at a depth of 2.2km (1.3 miles)

On April 15, the Odyssey Marine Exploration used a robot to recover nearly 1,000 ounces of gold during the first reconnaissance dive to the SS Central America shipwreck site in more than two decades.

Recovered gold included five gold ingots and two $20 Double Eagle coins (one 1857 minted in San Francisco and one 1850 minted in Philadelphia). The gold ingots were stamped with assayer's marks and weights that range from 96.5 to 313.5 troy ounces.

The SS Central America was an 85-meter (280-foot) wooden-hulled, copper-sheathed, three-masted side-wheel steamship that operated between Central America and the eastern coast of the United States during the 1850s. On 12 September 1857, she was caught in a hurricane and sank 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina.

The Columbus-America Discovery Group confirmed the location of the SS Central America shipwreck site in September 1988 at a depth of 2,200 meters (7,200 feet). Recovery operations were conducted over a four-year period (1988-1991) and a large quantity of commercial gold was recovered from approximately 5% of the shipwreck site during more than 1,000 hours of bottom time.

Odyssey Marine Exploration has been awarded the exclusive contract to conduct an archaeological excavation and recover the remaining valuable cargo from the SS Central America shipwreck.

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