$1.4 Million in siver in 1941 now worth $38 MILLION;
$38m silver hoard removed from World War II shipwreck off the coast of Ireland
July 19, 2012 - 8:42am
Still shining after 71 years some five kilometres under the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland, this hoard of 1.4 million ounces of silver was recovered by the SS Gairsoppa owned by Odyssey Marine Exploration, its heaviest and deepest underwater mission to date.
The silver has kept its value of around $38 million but it is still very undervalued in comparison to gold. A comparable cargo of 1,203 gold bars would be worth $2.2 billion at today’s prices.
The silver still belongs to the UK Government that has paid $500,000 to the owners of the cargo, according to The Daily Telegraph today. The ship was sunk by a German torpedo in February 1941 and the silver being transported was part of the British Government’s War Risk Insurance programme.
The loss of such principal must have been a blow to government finances at a time when the very future of the United Kingdom was under severe threat before Pearl Harbor brought the US into the war and made the final victory inevitable.
Perhaps the silver will now go back to vaults of the Royal Mint in Wales so recently emptied by the bargain sale of UK gold by the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown when he was finance minister.
It’s a testament to the indestructable qualities of precious metals that it looks hardly tarnished by so long under the sea, although Odyssey’s research indicated that there was five times as much silver on board.
Odyssey Marine is also after a smaller hoard of 600,000 ounces of insured silver around 160 kilometers from this find. Both operations will be featured on UK television documentaries in the near future. We can think of more predictable methods of obtaining silver but this is undoubtedly more exciting.
ArabianMoney can only advise the UK Government to keep this silver in a safe place and wait for the price to go up. And all it has to do to make sure that happens is to keep on printing money with its QE program! We’ve been tipping silver as a buy since the start of the year .
About Peter Cooper / Commentary Author
Peter Cooper is a veteran financial journalist living in Dubai and was formerly a partner in the dot-com success story AME Info. He is now editor and publisher of the ArabianMoney investment newsletter and website and an investor in precious metals.