A 500-year old shipwreck discovered bearing gold coins in Namibia is one of the significant “gold digs” that ever happened. Diamond miners from De Beers were stunned to see 2000 gold coins when they unearthed a shipwreck off the coast of Namibia.
The Good Jesus, a Portuguese vessel was harboring from Lisbon to India in 1533 when it was washed off the Skeleton Coast of Africa, according to The Sun.
It carried copper, tin, ivory tusks, silver and gold coins. In today’s dollars, the gold coins’ worth is $13,000,000 and are of Spanish and Portuguese origins. That’s huge!
The vessel was discovered in April 2008. Tucked beneath the ocean floor, geologists could not be able to unearth the ship in past centuries.
“The mining site concerned was actually located in the surf zone, where the violent action of the waves theoretically made mining impossible,” Dr Dieter Noli, chief archaeologist of the Southern Africa Institute of Maritime Archaeological Research told Fox News.
“So what the chaps do is push up a huge sea-wall with bulldozers parallel to the beach, with the ends running back to the beach. The result is a large man-made lagoon, with the surf pounding on the outside. Then they pump the seawater out of the lagoon.”
Over the preservation of gold coins, Noli said that the presence of copper coins prevented sea creatures from consuming the treasure.
In addition,diggers also uncovered five anchors, a part of the compass, pewter tableware, fifty elephant tusks and the remains of some crew members.
The next day of the discovery, Noli was contacted by the diggers who also emailed images of some pipes, which turned out to be 16th-century artilleries, as said by Noli.
Now Portugal raised his hands to claim the coins. However, the coins belong to Namibia.
“The only exception is when it is a ship of state – then the country under whose flag the ship was sailing gets it and all its contents,” said Noli.
“And in this case the ship belonged to the King of Portugal, making it a ship of state – with the ship and its entire contents belonging to Portugal.The Portuguese government, however, very generously waived that right, allowing Namibia to keep the lot,” he added.