Saturday, 25 October 2014

Amazing Shipwrecks


A bronze sword is among the artifacts. The 18-inch-long (45-centimeter) sword is of a style dated to between 950 and 850 B.C.
The Salcombe Wreck. Between 1200 and 900 B.C., a ship sank off the coast of Devon in England. Divers have so far uncovered 300 artifacts that weigh over 185 lbs combined, including copper and tin ingots (used to make bronze), weapons, and several pieces of jewelry. The wreck is significant because of its age and because the artifacts have proven that a trade network existed during the Bronze Age.
Golden adornments called torques which date to between 1300 and 1100 B.C.
The Belitung Shipwreck. The Belitung shipwreck was the first Arabian ship to be discovered and excavated. Found off the coast of Indonesia in 1998, it has yielded the richest and largest assortment of early ninth century Tang Dynasty gold and ceramic artifacts ever found–bowls, spice jars, inkwells, funeral urns, crystals, and gilt-silver boxes. Items included pearls from the Gulf, rubies and sapphires, a gold cup, and a silver flask.
The Antikythera Treasures. In 1900, divers discovered an ancient shipwreck just off the island of Antikythera. Another expedition in 1976 recovered the most significant part of the cargo. The massive haul of artifacts from the wreck included the Antikythera mechanism.

Coins and jewelry, glassware, pottery, statues, and even copper couch beds were found. One statue is a classical bronze statue made sometime from 340 to 330 B.C. named Statue of a Youth.
The Bom Jesus. The Bom Jesus was a Portuguese ship which sailed in 1533 and disappeared off the coast of West Africa. Geologists working for De Beers discovered the shipwreck buried in the beach. After uncovering several copper ingots, the mining operation was stopped and archaeologists were called in. It is the oldest shipwreck ever to be found off Africa’s coast and contained more than 22 tons of copper ingots, 6 cannons, swords, thousands of gold coins traced back to King João III, and more than 50 elephant tusks.
The Ghost Ship was accidentally discovered in 2003 by a crew searching for a Swedish plane shot down in WWII on the Baltic Sea. A full-scale expedition was launched in 2010, and researchers were able to confirm that the ship was built around 1650.

It is believed to be a type of Dutch ship known as a fluyt (a sailing cargo ship). The waters of the Baltic Sea have almost no tidal movement and the low salinity means shipworms are not able to inhabit it. That’s why the Baltic houses some of the most ancient and well-preserved vessels in the world.
The Vasa. The most exquisite shipwreck ever to be found in the Baltic Sea was the Swedish royal warship, the Vasa. Built between 1626 and 1628, it sank on its maiden voyage, less than a nautical mile from the harbor.

During a recovery operation in 1961, thousands of artifacts and human remains were removed. The wreck was so well-preserved that the smallest details could still be discerned on its artwork. It took more than eighteen months and 1,300 dives to salvage the Vasa. The Vasa museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sweden.




Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mponeng - World's deepest Gold Mine

Mponeng is a gold mine in South Africa's North West Province, about 65 km southwest of Johannesburg, owned by AngloGold Ashanti. Mponeng means 'look at me' in the local Sotho language. Formerly the Western Deep Levels South Shaft, or Shaft No 1, Mponeng is the most recently sunk of the three former Western Deep Levels mines.

The global record was broken in 2009 after digging 3,777m. With the current sink, the mine would go down to 4,100m. Plans could take the Mponeng Mine to 4,500m below the surface.
The Mponeng Mine is also one of the world's richest with grades at over 8g/t. Production is primarily sourced from the Ventersdorp Contact Reef, a seam of ore that averages only 30 inches wide. Work is progressing to extract the ore from the Carbon Leader Reef below it.
In an effect known as the geothermal gradient, the temperature of the earth increases with depth. Rock temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity 95 percent.

6,000 tons of ice a day keeps Mponeng's deepest levels at 83 degrees. Ice is made in a surface plant, then mixed with salt to create a slush that is pumped to underground reservoirs. There, giant fans pass air over the coolant and push the chilled air further down into the mining tunnels.
Every day the 4000 miners at the Mponeng Mine detonate 5,000 pounds of explosives. Every day they take away 6,400 tons of rock.

The laws of compressive force dictate that the rock will try to close the spaces left by mining.
Six hundred times a month a "seismic event" will shudder through the Mponeng mine. Sometimes the quakes cause rockbursts, when rock explodes into a mining cavity and mows men down with a deadly spray of jagged rock.

Sometimes a tremor causes a "fall of ground"—the term for a collapse. Some of the rockbursts had been so powerful that other countries, detecting the seismic signature, had suspected South Africa of testing a nuclear bomb.



Monday, 20 October 2014

Stockton Banknotes Set Record At Bonhams

The Coins and Banknotes auction on August 31 in Los Angeles brought in $1.6 million in total sales with 97 percent of lots sold.

The newly discovered Stockton California National Banknote collection led the auction taking in $339,300.

Featured was a Series 1873 $10 Gold Banknote with serial number 1, a Condition Census example. It is particularly special as the extended margin at the top reveals it to be the first note printed on the sheet as well as the first note issued by the First National Gold Bank of Stockton California. Bonhams believes it is a record for this type of large size gold banknote ever at auction.
The gold banknote relates to the California Gold Rush of 1848. The issuance of these banknotes, as redeemable currency for gold coins, became necessary in order to facilitate the large quantities of gold coins in daily transactions where the handling and counting of coins became too time consuming for banks to operate efficiently.

Of the coins section in the auction, the $4 Flowing Hair and Coiled Hair "Stellas" fetched strong prices. As an attempt to accommodate international trade and travel for Americans to Europe, the $4 Stellas contained metallic content stated in the metric system and possessed an approximate value to the Spanish 20 peseta, Dutch 8 florin, Austrian 8 florin, Italian 20 lire and French 20 franc piece, among other denominations.

An 1879 Flowing Hair $4 Proof 62 PCGS sold for $117,000 and is the most available of the four known varieties of Stellas. Another 1879 $4 Flowing Hair Stella Proof 45 PCGS realized $72,540.




See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/08/rare-golden-coins.html
See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/04/california-gold-quartz-canes.html
See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/01/year-of-horse-gold-coins.html