On her last voyage, the Gairsoppa carried a variety of cargo, but the most valuable was a large quantity of silver owned by the British government. That silver remained underwater until 2011 when Odyssey Marine Exploration located the ship. The company pulled about 48 tons of silver from the ship in 2012 -- and just recovered another 1,574 silver ingots weighing about 1,100 ounces each from more than three miles below the ocean's surface. A spokesperson for the company calls the find "the deepest and largest precious metal recovery from a shipwreck." At today's silver prices, (always available on our website) the bullion is worth more than $38 million, of which Odyssey Marine gets to keep 80 percent (the rest goes back to the British government).
It doesn't always work out so well for marine salvage companies, however. In 2007, Odyssey Marine Exploration hauled up nearly $500 million in gold and silver bullion from the ocean floor off the coast of Portugal. After they brought it up, the Spanish government claimed that the gold and silver came from a Spanish ship sunk in 1804. Odyssey denied this, but in 2009, a U.S. court ruled that the bullion came from the Spanish ship Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes -- and must be returned to Spain.
While potentially lucrative, precious metal salvage is difficult, specialized work -- but you don't need to be a marine salvage expert to appreciate the beauty and value of silver, gold and other precious metals. If you're considering investing in gold bullion or silver bullion -- or have gold coins or silver coins that you'd like to sell -- come talk to the precious metal experts at West Seattle Coins and Bellevue Rare Coins in West Seattle, Bellevue and Lynnwood.
West Seattle Coins and Bellevue Rare Coins specialize in gold buying and dealing in rare coins. We are a family-owned business that was first established in 1979 and is now located in West Seattle, Bellevue and Lynnwood. We also buy and sell gold, silver, diamonds, currency and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.
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Bellevue Rare Coins - Lynnwood Located at 18411 Alderwood Mall Pkwy, Suite F, Lynnwood, WA. Phone: 425-672-2646. http://www.wscbrc.com.