Golden treasures of the White Star Line sunken liners
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For more than a hundred years, two majestic liners of the White Star Line, whose holds were full of precious objects, have been resting on the seabed. Let’s delve into the depths of the past and discover the fascinating stories behind some of these treasures.
The company’s most famous ship is the Titanic. The tragic story of the liner continues to arouse imagination even after a century.
Gold necklace with a megalodon tooth
A new unusual find was discovered among the wreckage of the sunken ship this spring. A gold necklace with a megalodon tooth was found by the British company Magellan during a digital scan of the ocean floor. Megalodon is a species of huge shark that lived approximately 20 million years ago.
Unfortunately, the research team was unable to bring the unique jewel to the surface. According to the rules for protecting the area where the ship sank, it is strictly prohibited to remove any objects from the wreck site. However, Magellan is trying to find the family of the owner of the necklace.
This is just one of the many precious items that sank with the Titanic. More than 2,000 people traveled by ship from Great Britain to New York. Wealthy passengers brought with them art objects and jewelry.
The "Rubaiyat" by Omar Khayyam
Perhaps the most unique object that sank into the abyss of the Atlantic Ocean and has not yet been found is the book “Rubaiyat” by the Persian philosopher Omar Khayyam. This edition was considered a real masterpiece. Sangorski & Sutcliffe worked on the one-of-a-kind binding for two years.
To make the cover, valuable types of leather, mahogany, ivory, 1050 precious stones, and several square meters of gold leaf were used. It is not surprising that this is one of the most expensive book bindings of the 20th century.
“Rubaiyat” was sent by ship to a New York collector, who purchased it for a huge amount of money at that time — $1,900. But, of course, the luxury edition never reached its new owner.
Bracelet with the name Amy on it
Nevertheless, there are objects that were found and raised from the bottom. Many small jewels were discovered during the expedition of Robert Ballard. In 1987, researchers were lucky to find a leather bag full of jewelry made of gold, diamonds and precious stones.
An intriguing discovery was a piece of jewelry — a bracelet with the name Amy on it. The chain is made of 15K rose gold and the lettering is encrusted with diamonds. Researchers are still puzzling over who the bracelet could have belonged to. There was only one Amy on board — a third class passenger who was heading to Connecticut for work and, by the way, survived the shipwreck.
A similar fate awaited another White Star Line liner, the Laurentic. In 1917, the ship, which was used as a warship, hit a mine and sank. Its holds contained 43 tons of gold. 3,211 precious metal bars were intended to be used as payment for military goods.
The valuable cargo lifting works were extremely difficult and dangerous. After 6 years, divers managed to recover only 3,057 bars to the surface. Over the next few decades, search operations continued at the site of the shipwreck, as a result of which another 134 were found. The remaining 20 bars continue to rest on the ocean floor.
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