The “holy grail of shipwrecks” containing $19 billion in gold and silver at the bottom of the Colombian sea has become the most sought-after treasure in history.
In the sunken San José off the coast of Colombia, researchers have discovered a “gold mine” containing gold, silver, and gemstones worth billions of dollars.
After a violent conflict with four British ships on June 8, 1708, the Spanish battleship San José took fire and plummeted to the bottom of the ocean. The British were aware that the ship was loaded with gold and silver, so they fought for hours with the sailors of the San José. The treasure ship was unearthed in Peru, and the gold and silver were intended to assist the Spanish and French in their conflicts against Britain.
Following a violent conflict with four British ships, the San José caught fire and sank to the ocean floor, taking 600 crew members and approximately $ 19 billion worth of gold, silver, and jewelery with it. According to History TV, San José is referred to as the “holy grail of shipwrecks” due to its immense treasures.
Jerry Lee, a treasure hunter with Global Explorations, stated, “The San José shipwreck is currently in Panamanian waters – infamously a piracy zone in western South America – and it has been there for a very long time, so she and several other ships accumulated a substantial amount of gold. These ships sailed simultaneously for Cartagena, Colombia.
Jeff Kaeli, an oceanographic engineer who led the squad that explored the area where the San José vanished, stated that the vessel was transporting a significant amount of Mayan gold, silver, and emeralds.
For more than 300 years after the battle, one of the greatest treasures that ever set sail remained a mystery. Everything changed in 2015 when the Colombian government commissioned marine archaeologists and the US Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to find the wreck. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution had previously found the wreck of the Titanic in 1985.
The first attempt was fruitless. However, on a second expedition in late 2015, San José was finally discovered. It was a great day for archeology and history, but also sparked a much larger dispute over who was the rightful owner of what was left of the ship and its treasures.
Spain asserts ownership of the treasure because it is a shipwreck belonging to Spain, while Colombia asserts ownership of the treasure because it is in Colombian waters.
Tok Thompson, an anthropology and communications professor, cites a third argument for proprietorship, namely that the Inca Empire stole the gold and silver.John Mattera, a treasure hunter, stated that the Colombian government “probably has the strongest claim to the debris” because it is located in Colombian waters.
The San José and its immense wealth of gold and silver became one of the most coveted vessels and treasures in history. Due to the ongoing legal dispute, divers have yet to locate the treasure. While the dispute persists, a great deal of gold, silver, and treasures are being lost in the seabed’s hostile saline environment.