Divers Find 1468 Wreck That May Hold Millions in Coins

Famed Hanneke Wrome carried 200 souls, seriously rich cargo when it sank
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2015 7:47 AM CDT
Divers Find 1468 Wreck That May Hold Millions in Coins
Finnish diver Rauno Koivusaari came across the long sought-after shipwreck near the island of Jussar in Finland.   (Rauno Koivusaari)

(Newser) – An international team of divers has discovered a long-sought 15th-century shipwreck just south of the island of Jussarö in Finland. When the Hanneke Wrome sank in 1468 during heavy storms in the Baltic Sea on its way from Germany to Estonia, it was considered one of the biggest maritime disasters of its era—and not just because 200 passengers and crew went down with the vessel. The ship was also carrying coveted cargo, including 200 parcels of fabric, 1,200 barrels of honey, jewelry, and 10,000 gold coins thought to be worth more than $56 million today, reports Ancient Origins.

The divers, led by renowned Finnish wreck researcher Rauno Koivusaari (who found the treasure ship Vrouw Maria in 1999), began looking for the Hanneke Wrome last year. They came across a vessel roughly 100 feet long that includes three decently-preserved sections—a keel, mast, and anchor—that were "scattered in east-west direction, confirming the dynamic of the sinking during the eastern storm," Koivusaari tells Discovery News. Named after the ship's captain, the Hanneke Wrome was actually one of two ships caught in the same storm, though the other managed to reach the destination port in Tallinn, Estonia. While the divers have found a barrel lid, roof tiles, and a lead object, they have yet to uncover the gold coins, though Koivusaari appears confident they, too, are preserved. (Millions in silver have just been recovered from a WWII wreck.)

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