An astounding shipwreck dating to the 17th century—with cargo worth approximately $187 million in melt value alone based on the current market price of gold—was recovered off of the Jamaican coast last month. On board were mind-boggling amounts of gold and silver, along with semi-precious stones such as opal, jade, and amethyst.
The original article from the World News Daily Report indicated that the hoard will be formally appraised by the British auction house, Christie's, in the coming weeks. The article further speculates that the find could fetch as much as half a billion dollars if sold at auction.
The time period from about 1680-1720 saw the height of pirate activity in the Atlantic Ocean, especially near the Caribbean. This was an era where the growing movement of sailors-turned-pirates represented a real and imminent threat to the European powers by significantly disrupting the normal flow of colonial commerce. It was a time when the real man they called Blackbeard actually lived, and when rogue pirate ships flew the Jolly Roger—the skull and crossbones flag—to intimidate other seafaring vessels. The unbelievable wealth of this sunken ship recovered near Jamaican waters is a testament to the power that pirates once wielded. They didn't call the late 17th century the "Golden Age" of piracy for nothing!
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