Shipwrecks: Artifacts & Treasure 

© 2019 Seascape Artifact Exhibits, Inc.

SS Gairsoppa Silver

The Gairsoppa’s 3.2 million ounces of silver was the heaviest loss sent from India to Britain during the war. The 2,817 ingots, consigned by the Bombay Mint master to the Secretary of State for India in London, were found in the lower No. 1 and No. 3 holds.

 

By January 1941, the Royal Mint was in dire need of silver mostly designated for coin production and the rest for empire coinage to pay foreign Allied troops at a rate of half a million pieces a month.

 

Following the discovery of the ship in 2011, a two-year operation took place. Over 99% of the silver that was insured during the ship’s last voyage was recovered.  In 2012, approximately 48 tons or 1.4 million ounces was recovered from the site. Then in 2013, more than 61 tons (1.8 million ounces) of silver from the shipwreck was subsequently recovered for a total of  109 tons or 2,792 silver ingots.

 

According to the manifest, three lots of the insured cargo contained .917 fine silver ingots and a forth lot contained .999 fine silver ingots. Markings on the .999 fine bars include a stamp indicating the bars were minted at H.M. Mint– Bombay. 462 of the .999 bars were recovered in 2013.