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$130 Billion Worth Of Gold Found On Sunken Russian Warship

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - What’s better than finding the wreckage of a scuttled legendary warship? Finding one filled with $130 billion worth of gold.

Wreckage of the Dmitrii Donskoi. Source: the Shinil Group

Sunday, a team of South Korean, British and Canadian divers discovered the wreck of a sunken Russian warship that is believed to contain 200 tons of gold bullion and coins, equivalent to $130 billion, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The wreckage of the Russian Imperial Navy cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi was discovered about one mile off the South Korean island of Ulleungdo, at more than 1,400 feet below sea level.

According to historical records, the Dmitrii Donskoi was scuttled 113 years ago during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. The armored cruiser was designed as a commerce raider and was intercepted by the Japanese fleet during the Battle of Tsushima; having sustained heavy damage during the battle, her captain ordered the crew to abandon ship ashore off Ulleungdo Island and scuttle it offshore.

“The body of the ship was severely damaged by shelling, with its stern almost broken, and yet the ship’s deck and sides are well preserved,” Shinil Group said in a statement.

According to the Telegraph, the identity of Dmitrii Donskoi was confirmed once Shinil Group’s crew were able to read the name on the stern.

The cruiser’s crew were believed to have carried 5,500 boxes containing gold bars as well as 200 tons of gold coins which were meant to finance the Russian fleet’s funds. The gold was being stored on board to prevent the Japanese from seizing it.

The Shinil Group said that it is planning to raise the ship in October or November.

The Telegraph reported that half of the treasure found would be handed over to the Russian government, while 10 percent would be invested in tourism projects on Ulleungdo Island, including a museum dedicated to the ship, and a portion of the gold will be donated to joint projects for developments in north-east Asia, such as a railway from Russian to South Korea through North Korea.

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