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Treasure trove of artefacts from 'Ship of Gold' wreck on display in Chicago ahead of auction04:34

Treasure trove of artefacts from 'Ship of Gold' wreck on display in Chicago ahead of auction

United States, Chicago
August 17, 2022 at 12:03 GMT +00:00 · Published

"Phenomenal" treasures recovered from a ship that sank in 1857 are now on display at an exhibition in Chicago, as seen in footage captured on Tuesday.

Previously unseen gold ingots, coins, jewellery and more deep-sea artefacts from the S.S. Central America also known as the 'Ship of Gold' are on display at the exhibition. They were retrieved from the bottom of the Atlantic in the early 1990s by the submersible "Nemo," which is also available for public viewing.

"The central feature in our exhibit here, around which everything is rotating, is the robot 'Nemo' the multi-ton, circa 1980 robot that picked up over two tonnes of gold," said Bob Evans, the project's lead scientist and historian.

"Bob’s teams, over the years, have brought up what has probably sold for hundreds of millions of dollars in Gold coins, silver coins, and golden ingots. It’s phenomenal, but until now the artefacts have never been seen," added Fred Holabird, a Mining Geologist and gold expert. "They were sequestered by the Federal Court, marshalled by the Federal Court and not released until recently," he explained.

Four hundred and twenty-five people drowned when the ship sank during a hurricane off the coast of California over 160 years ago. The steamboat was carrying tonnes of gold and its loss was considered to be the greatest economic disaster in U.S. maritime history.

The artefacts are on a three-city exhibition tour which started in Reno and will end in Denver on September 11, they will then go up for auction in Reno in October and November.

"There is no precedent to any of this. It’s impossible to put a price on it," said Holabird. "We think it’s worth a lot of money but we won’t know financially what it’s worth until later."

Treasure trove of artefacts from 'Ship of Gold' wreck on display in Chicago ahead of auction04:34
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"Phenomenal" treasures recovered from a ship that sank in 1857 are now on display at an exhibition in Chicago, as seen in footage captured on Tuesday.

Previously unseen gold ingots, coins, jewellery and more deep-sea artefacts from the S.S. Central America also known as the 'Ship of Gold' are on display at the exhibition. They were retrieved from the bottom of the Atlantic in the early 1990s by the submersible "Nemo," which is also available for public viewing.

"The central feature in our exhibit here, around which everything is rotating, is the robot 'Nemo' the multi-ton, circa 1980 robot that picked up over two tonnes of gold," said Bob Evans, the project's lead scientist and historian.

"Bob’s teams, over the years, have brought up what has probably sold for hundreds of millions of dollars in Gold coins, silver coins, and golden ingots. It’s phenomenal, but until now the artefacts have never been seen," added Fred Holabird, a Mining Geologist and gold expert. "They were sequestered by the Federal Court, marshalled by the Federal Court and not released until recently," he explained.

Four hundred and twenty-five people drowned when the ship sank during a hurricane off the coast of California over 160 years ago. The steamboat was carrying tonnes of gold and its loss was considered to be the greatest economic disaster in U.S. maritime history.

The artefacts are on a three-city exhibition tour which started in Reno and will end in Denver on September 11, they will then go up for auction in Reno in October and November.

"There is no precedent to any of this. It’s impossible to put a price on it," said Holabird. "We think it’s worth a lot of money but we won’t know financially what it’s worth until later."