Shipwreck Yields 61 Tons of Silver

Odyssey Marine Exploration pulls up more treasure from SS Gairsoppa
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2013 8:54 AM CDT
Updated Jul 27, 2013 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) Odyssey Marine Exploration has uncovered the biggest load of treasure ever recovered from a shipwreck: 61 tons of silver bullion. The haul was pulled up this month from the SS Gairsoppa, a British cargo ship that sank off the coast of Ireland in 1941 after being torpedoed by a German U-boat. Not only is it the biggest recovery in history, it's also the deepest, coming from a depth of almost three miles, the Tampa Tribune reports. If you can't picture what 61 tons of silver looks like, Bloomberg reports that it's 1,574 silver bars.

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The Gairsoppa had already yielded almost 48 tons of silver last year, so it has now given up 99% of the insured silver it was reported to be carrying when it sank. Odyssey was hoping to find uninsured silver as well, but did not. Odyssey, a Tampa-based company, won the bidding war to recover the treasure and will retain 80% of the haul. The British government gets the rest. But this haul isn't worth quite as much as last year's, since silver prices have gone down recently. It's currently worth about $35 million, $3 million less than what Odyssey got last year for the smaller haul, Reuters reports. (Read more Odyssey Marine Exploration stories.)

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