Thursday, 6 June 2013

The SS Central America - 'Ship of Gold'

The SS Central America, 'Ship of Gold', was a 280-foot (85 m) sidewheel steamer that operated between Central America and the eastern coast of the United States during the 1850s.

The ship sank in a hurricane in September 1857, along with more than 550 passengers and crew and 30,000 pounds of gold. The wreck contributed to the financial panic of 1857.

The bullion had been shipped from San Francisco to the west coast of Panama, then sent by rail to the Central American nation's east coast and finally loaded onto the 280-foot steamship bound for New York.
A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operated by the Columbus-America Discovery Group of Ohio made the discovery on 11 September 1987. Significant amounts of gold and artifacts were recovered and brought to the surface by another ROV built specifically for the recovery.

The total value of the recovered gold was estimated at $100–150 million. A recovered gold ingot weighing 80 lb (36 kg) sold for a record $8 million.