Sunken Russian ship found and believed to have 3400 tons of gold worth $130 billion

A South Korean salvage team (South Korea, China, Canada and the UK) has discovered the wreck of a Russian warship that was sunk in a naval battle 113 years ago and is believed contain 5500 boxes of gold bars and 200 tons of gold worth $130 billion.

The boxes of gold bars were worth $122 billion. This would be about 3200 tons of gold bars.

200 tons of gold worth £6 billion ( US$7.9 billion) is believed to be inside the wreck.

It was found off the coast of Korea.

The South Korean treasure hunting company, Shinil Group, and international experts located it 1,400 feet (430 m) below the surface. A joint operation by companies from China, Canada and the UK.

They have pledged to give 50% of the gold back to Russia, where a campaign group has demanded the full amount.

The Shinil Group claims they saw “treasure box” among the wreckage. There is no confirmation the Donskoi really was carrying the reported treasure. In addition to payments to the modern Russian government, the salvagers promise to further invest money in a railroad line linking North Korea, South Korea, and Russia.

A small percentage (10%) will also be invested in tourism projects on Ulleungdo Island, including a museum dedicated to the vessel.

Sinking of the Dmitrii Donskoi

The Dmitrii Donskoi was an armored cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the early 1880s.

The ship approaching the Strait of Tsushima on 27 May 1905. The Russian force was intercepted by the Japanese in the Battle of Tsushima. The cruiser was assigned to defend the transport ships at the rear of the Russian formation and was not seriously engaged during the day. She became separated from the rest of the fleet during the early evening and attempted to steam north to Vladivostok through the Japanese fleet. Dmitrii Donskoi was unsuccessfully attacked by Japanese destroyers and torpedo boats during the night. As the ship sailed northward, she was spotted late in the day by several groups of Japanese ships and badly damaged in the ensuing combat. Captain Lebedev decided to run his ship aground on Ulleungdo, but the ship anchored instead and all of the men aboard were taken to the island. The next morning, 29 May, Dmitrii Donskoi was scuttled about a mile and a half (2.4 km) offshore.

The other historically most valuable shipwreck treasures ever found before have tended to be under $1 billion. In 2015, the Spanish galleon San Jose that had been sunk by the British in 1708 was found with treasure estimated to be worth between $1 and $17 billion.

3500 tons is more than the gold reserves of any country but the USA

The list of national gold reserves is at wikipedia.

It does not make sense to have that much gold on one ship.

24 thoughts on “Sunken Russian ship found and believed to have 3400 tons of gold worth $130 billion”

  1. And now. let’s assume the archives show the gold was there… Knowing the traditional russian corruption it would mean that all the gold has already stolen and sinking the ship is a perfect way to write it off 🙂

    Reply
  2. The article says: 200 tons of gold worth £6 billion ( US$7.9 billion) is believed to be inside the wreck. Where did the 3500 ton figure come from? As a solid cube 3500 tons of gold would be 18 feet per side a ridiculous quantity indeed. Seven foot per side would still be pretty enormous. With that on board it would be very odd to commit a ship to any mission besides getting home safely let alone screening transports.”

    Reply
  3. And now. let’s assume the archives show the gold was there… Knowing the traditional russian corruption it would mean that all the gold has already stolen and sinking the ship is a perfect way to write it off 🙂

    Reply
  4. I missed the 3400 tons in the article headline. So the ship had 200,3200, 3400 or 3500 tons on board. Or more likely, very little. If they had time to scuttle it in a controlled way, they probably had time to offload some of the more valuable cargo. And if it was to be used for salaries and such, wouldn’t it be in the form of coins, not bars?

    Reply
  5. How did 200 tons get turned into 3200 tons and then into 3500 tons, all in one article? BBC was a bit more skeptical: “Rumours persist that the Donskoi was carrying the gold for Russia’s Pacific Fleet, used to pay crew salaries and docking fees – gold which would be worth billions of dollars if found today. But no proof exists that the ship carried gold, with academics raising doubts that a warship would carry such valuable cargo.” Would crew salaries and docking fees really require some hundreds of tons of gold? If so, hadn’t Russia heard of paper money by 1905?

    Reply
  6. The article says: 200 tons of gold worth £6 billion ( US$7.9 billion) is believed to be inside the wreck. Where did the 3500 ton figure come from? As a solid cube, 3500 tons of gold would be 18 feet per side, a ridiculous quantity indeed. Seven foot per side would still be pretty enormous. With that on board it would be very odd to commit a ship to any mission besides getting home safely, let alone screening transports.

    Reply
  7. I missed the 3400 tons in the article headline. So the ship had 2003200 3400 or 3500 tons on board. Or more likely very little. If they had time to scuttle it in a controlled way they probably had time to offload some of the more valuable cargo. And if it was to be used for salaries and such wouldn’t it be in the form of coins not bars?

    Reply
  8. How did 200 tons get turned into 3200 tons and then into 3500 tons all in one article?BBC was a bit more skeptical: Rumours persist that the Donskoi was carrying the gold for Russia’s Pacific Fleet” used to pay crew salaries and docking fees – gold which would be worth billions of dollars if found today.But no proof exists that the ship carried gold” with academics raising doubts that a warship would carry such valuable cargo.””Would crew salaries and docking fees really require some hundreds of tons of gold? If so”””” hadn’t Russia heard of paper money by 1905?”””

    Reply
  9. I wonder if Russian goverment is thinking about to use their half part of the gold to give back Spanish goverment the gold wich was put in their custody during the spanish civil war (between 510 and 700 tonnes of gold according to different sources) gold which never was returned to its owner when war was over or when spain becames a democracy (sarcasm)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_gold

    Reply
  10. I wonder if Russian goverment is thinking about to use their half part of the gold to give back Spanish goverment the gold wich was put in their custody during the spanish civil war (between 510 and 700 tonnes of gold according to different sources), gold which never was returned to its owner when war was over or when spain becames a democracy (sarcasm) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_gold

    Reply
  11. I wonder if Russian goverment is thinking about to use their half part of the gold to give back Spanish goverment the gold wich was put in their custody during the spanish civil war (between 510 and 700 tonnes of gold according to different sources), gold which never was returned to its owner when war was over or when spain becames a democracy (sarcasm)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_gold

    Reply
  12. I missed the 3400 tons in the article headline. So the ship had 200,3200, 3400 or 3500 tons on board. Or more likely, very little. If they had time to scuttle it in a controlled way, they probably had time to offload some of the more valuable cargo. And if it was to be used for salaries and such, wouldn’t it be in the form of coins, not bars?

    Reply
  13. How did 200 tons get turned into 3200 tons and then into 3500 tons, all in one article?

    BBC was a bit more skeptical: “Rumours persist that the Donskoi was carrying the gold for Russia’s Pacific Fleet, used to pay crew salaries and docking fees – gold which would be worth billions of dollars if found today.
    But no proof exists that the ship carried gold, with academics raising doubts that a warship would carry such valuable cargo.”

    Would crew salaries and docking fees really require some hundreds of tons of gold? If so, hadn’t Russia heard of paper money by 1905?

    Reply
  14. The article says: 200 tons of gold worth £6 billion ( US$7.9 billion) is believed to be inside the wreck. Where did the 3500 ton figure come from? As a solid cube, 3500 tons of gold would be 18 feet per side, a ridiculous quantity indeed. Seven foot per side would still be pretty enormous. With that on board it would be very odd to commit a ship to any mission besides getting home safely, let alone screening transports.

    Reply
  15. And now. let’s assume the archives show the gold was there… Knowing the traditional russian corruption it would mean that all the gold has already stolen and sinking the ship is a perfect way to write it off 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Comment