Divers discover rare gold coins at site of 1800s shipwreck off North Carolina coast

A stash of rare gold coins was recently discovered by divers near the site of the shipwreck of the steamship Pulaski, which sank about 65 kilometres off the coast of North Carolina nearly two centuries ago.

According to a Jan. 27 story published by The Courier-Tribune, divers found 14 gold coins and 24 silver coins on Jan. 22 in a spot “no bigger than a cigar box.” All of the coins predate the sinking of the Pulaski, which sank—along with half of its wealthy passengers—to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in 1838. Among the coins is a British piece believed to be worth $100,000 USD. Other gold coins are believed to be worth between $10,000 USD and $12,000 USD.

“This evidence supports reports that valuables, including gold and silver, were aboard the Pulaski when she sank,” said James Sinclair, a marine archaeologist involved in discovery, in a statement to The Courier-Tribune.


The coins were discovered as part of joint project by Blue Water Ventures International and Endurance Exploration Group, the latter of which owns the wreck site after filing an admiralty claim in U.S. federal court. It holds the exclusive legal right to salvage the spot and maintains ownership of all recovered items

Keith Webb, of Blue Water Ventures, told The Courier-Tribune he expects to find thousands of coins worth millions of dollars. In six searches of the site, the teams have found 70 U.S., Spanish and Mexican coins.

Other artifacts brought to the surface by divers include two turkey trays, a men’s straight razor and a candlestick holder.

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