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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 19:30 GMT 20:30 UK
Shipwreck yields record treasures
Odyssey co-founder Greg Stemm (L) examines coins recovered from the Black Swan
The artefacts have been shipped to the US for examination
US treasure hunters have recovered half a million silver coins and hundreds of gold coins and worked gold from a colonial-era shipwreck in the Atlantic.

Odyssey Marine Exploration said the find was the largest of its kind and is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

"The gold coins are almost all dazzling mint state specimens," Odyssey co-founder Greg Stemm said.

The team has kept secret the location of the wreck, codenamed Black Swan, citing security and legal reasons.

The artefacts, including more than 17 tonnes of silver coins, have been shipped to the US and are being examined by experts at an undisclosed location.

Historical significance

The mammoth haul was salvaged using a tethered underwater robot.

Odyssey's Remotely Operated Vehicle
The haul was salvaged using a tethered underwater robot
The Odyssey team said the site was of huge historical importance because of the insight it would offer into seafaring and the social life of the period when the ship sank.

"Our research suggests that there were a number of colonial period shipwrecks that were lost in the area where this site is located, so we are being very cautious about speculating as to the possible identity of the shipwreck," said John Morris, Odyssey's co-founder.

"We have treated this site with kid gloves and the archaeological work done by our team out there is unsurpassed.

"We are thoroughly documenting and recording the site, which we believe will have immense historical significance," he said.

The company said it expected the shipwreck would eventually become one of the "most publicised in history".

The treasure is brought to dry land

US shipwreck could yield millions
18 Aug 03 |  Americas

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