by Louis Cammarosano, Smaulgld:
There is plenty of gold and silver at the bottom of the ocean.
Throughout history, until the mid 20th century virtually all trans-Atlantic treasure was transported via sea vessels. Ships carrying gold and silver would sometime sink due to storms or attacks on the vessels, taking the crew, passengers and treasure down with them.
There is an estimated $4.6 -$60 billion in sunken treasure on the floors of the oceans and seas across the globe. Much of that treasure is in the form of gold and silver. This is not counting the estimated 20 million tons of gold in the ocean water itself.
Sunken gold and silver can be retrieved in near perfect condition. Because gold is inert, it will not corrode even after centuries under water. Silver may tarnish but remains in virtually the same condition after decades at the bottom of the sea.
Any paper currency that might have gone down with ships centuries ago would have also disintegrated long ago. Even if bills were found in a water-tight safe that did not corrode, the paper bills would most likely have no more than collector’s value as their issuer would have ceased to exist long ago and the bills would no longer be exchangeable for goods and services anywhere in the world.
In contrast, gold and silver retrieved from shipwrecks can be weighed and assayed for purity, recast and sold like any other gold and silver.
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