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