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Firedog
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TAMPA, Florida (AP) -- Deep-sea explorers said Friday they have mined what could be the richest shipwreck treasure in history, bringing home 17 tons of colonial-era silver and gold coins from an undisclosed site in the Atlantic Ocean.

Estimated value: $500 million.

A jet chartered by Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration landed in the United States recently with hundreds of plastic containers brimming with coins raised from the ocean floor, Odyssey co-chairman Greg Stemm said. The more than 500,000 pieces are expected to fetch an average of $1,000 each from collectors and investors.

"For this colonial era, I think (the find) is unprecedented," said rare coin expert Nick Bruyer, who examined a batch of coins from the wreck. "I don't know of anything equal or comparable to it."

Citing security concerns, the company declined to release any details about the ship or the wreck site Friday. Stemm said a formal announcement will come later, but court records indicate the coins might come from a 400-year-old ship found off England.

Because the shipwreck was found in a lane where many colonial-era vessels went down, there is still some uncertainty about its nationality, size and age, Stemm said, although evidence points to a specific known shipwreck. The site is beyond the territorial waters or legal jurisdiction of any country, he said.

"Rather than a shout of glee, it's more being able to exhale for the first time in a long time," Stemm said of the haul, by far the biggest in Odyssey's 13-year history.

He wouldn't say if the loot was taken from the same wreck site near the English Channel that Odyssey recently petitioned a federal court for permission to salvage.

In seeking exclusive rights to that site, an Odyssey attorney told a federal judge last fall that the company likely had found the remains of a 17th-century merchant vessel that sank with valuable cargo aboard, about 40 miles off the southwestern tip of England. A judge signed an order granting those rights last month.

Secret project
In keeping with the secretive nature of the project dubbed "Black Swan," Odyssey also isn't talking yet about the types, denominations and country of origin of the coins.

Bruyer said he observed a wide range of varieties and dates of likely uncirculated currency in much better condition than artifacts yielded by most shipwrecks of a similar age.

The Black Swan coins -- mostly silver pieces -- likely will fetch several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars each, with some possibly commanding much more, he said. Value is determined by rarity, condition and the story behind them.

Controlled release of the coins into the market along with their expected high value to collectors likely will keep prices at a premium, he said.

The richest ever shipwreck haul was yielded by the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank in a hurricane off the Florida Keys in 1622. Treasure-hunting pioneer Mel Fisher found it in 1985, retrieving a reported $400 million in coins and other loot.

Odyssey likely will return to the same spot for more coins and artifacts.

"We have treated this site with kid gloves and the archaeological work done by our team out there is unsurpassed," Odyssey CEO John Morris said. "We are thoroughly documenting and recording the site, which we believe will have immense historical significance."

Publicly traded company
The news is timely for Odyssey, the only publicly traded company of its kind.

The company salvaged more than 50,000 coins and other artifacts from the wreck of the SS Republic off Savannah, Georgia, in 2003, making millions. But Odyssey posted losses in 2005 and 2006 while using its expensive, state-of-the-art ships and deep-water robotic equipment to hunt for the next mother lode.

"The outside world now understands that what we do is a real business and is repeatable and not just a lucky one shot deal," Stemm said. "I don't know of anybody else who has hit more than one economically significant shipwreck."

In January, Odyssey won permission from the Spanish government to resume a suspended search for the wreck of the HMS Sussex, which was leading a British fleet into the Mediterranean Sea for a war against France in 1694 when it sank in a storm off Gibraltar.

Historians believe the 157-foot warship was carrying nine tons of gold coins to buy the loyalty of the Duke of Savoy, a potential ally in southeastern France. Odyssey believes those coins could also fetch more than $500 million.

But under the terms of a historic agreement Odyssey will have to share any finds with the British government. The company will get 80 percent of the first $45 million and about 50 percent of the proceeds thereafter.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Must be an easier way!
Disclaimer: Don't buy or sell on my advice I am not a licensed broker.

Posts: 424 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Firedog
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Getting alot of attention from ABC and CNN. Who knows may really go.

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Must be an easier way!
Disclaimer: Don't buy or sell on my advice I am not a licensed broker.

Posts: 424 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gary59
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OMR ended up 80% for the day and you might want to check out DPBM they do the same type of work and have located a few ships as well, and they posted a pr with OMR > it was up 4.5% friday too...
It might run just because this one is ...

Posts: 1986 | From: Florida | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gary59
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Going to be gapping this morning closed friday at 8.32 and today already B 8.52 x A 8.80
Too bad I will be at work to watch this one..

Posts: 1986 | From: Florida | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gary59
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high today was 9.45 back to 8.50 and lots of great news on this one , thinking of Disney partnership and one of the MAIN peices of news is , they say it is not the Sussexwreck so there is not claim from a country on this one ,,
Here is some of the news on this::

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. (OMR) hasn't estimated the potential value of the coins recovered from the "Black Swan" shipwreck.
Media reports widely reported the haul of more than 500,000 coins could be valued up to $500 million.
Odyssey, Tampa, said Monday it is impossible to know what the entire collection would bring at retail until all the coins are conserved, documented and graded.
The deep-sea explorer can't confirm the identity of the shipwreck, but said it can confirm that "Black Swan" isn't HMS Sussex.
In addition, Odyssey confirmed it recently entered a relationship with Walt Disney Co. (DIS) on a number of projects and the parties are in talks about new opportunities.
New York Stock Exchange-listed shares of Odyssey recently changed hands at $8.95, up 63 cents, or 7.6%, on composite volume of more than 11 million shares, compared with average daily volume of 232,443 shares. Odyssey's stock price soared 81% Friday on news of the discovery.
-Eamon Beltran, 201-938-5400; AskNewswires*dowjones.com > Dow Jones Newswires
05-21-07 1113ET
Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Posts: 1986 | From: Florida | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gary59
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According to Dow Jones news they are in talks with DISNEY at this time about a partnership with them..
Since it is not the Sussex then Spain has not claim on treasure now ...

Posts: 1986 | From: Florida | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gary59
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Rumors, possible Disney deal follow historic treasure find
1:33 PM ET - AP Worldstream
Deep sea explorers who discovered what could be the richest shipwreck treasure ever tried to control an international storm of rumors Monday about where it came from and who might be entitled to a piece of the historic haul.

Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration created an international sensation Friday by announcing the recovery of more than 500,000 colonial-era silver and gold coins from an unspecified Atlantic Ocean shipwreck possibly worth $500 million (EUR 371.9 million).

Odyssey added to the intrigue by withholding details about the shipwreck, where it was found or even what kind of coins they had hauled back to the United States.

"We are overwhelmed by the worldwide interest in this project, and it reinforces our belief that shipwreck exploration hits a nerve with the public. I wasn't prepared for the response," Odyssey co-founder Greg Stemm said from Los Angeles, where he was meeting with Disney representatives about possible TV and movie projects.

In England, it generated press reports that Odyssey had salvaged the wreck of the long-sought British vessel Merchant Royal, which sank in bad weather off England in 1641.

In Spain, the government said it was "suspicious" of Odyssey's find, given that it recently granted permission to the company to hunt for the wreck of the HMS Sussex in the Mediterranean Sea. Culture Minister Carmen Calvo said his nation will claim the loot if it turns out to be Spanish or was removed from Spanish waters

Odyssey stated definitively Monday that its so-called Black Swan project that yielded the riches was not the Sussex, which historians believed was laden with gold coins when it sank off Gibraltar in 1694.

Regarding the Merchant Royal, Odyssey was not confirming or denying anything.

"The 'Black Swan' bears characteristics of one shipwreck in particular, but some of the evidence gathered to date is inconsistent with our research, so we want to be sure of the identity before we announce it," the company said in a statement.

A federal judge in Tampa granted Odyssey exclusive salvage rights last week to an unspecified shipwreck site near the English Channel, about 40 miles (64.37 kilometers) off the southwestern tip of England.

That is the area where historians say the Merchant Royal went down laden with riches in 1641, and salvagers have been hunting it for years. British newspapers reported Saturday that shipping records and witnesses indicate Odyssey's ships were working in the area last year, likely looking for the Merchant Royal.

Historians say the Merchant Royal took on water and sank while transporting loot from Spain to Belgium to pay the Spanish army stationed there at the time.

The Daily Mail in London asserted that the Merchant Royal treasure was "stolen by Americans," who secretly spirited it back to the United States to keep Britain from making a claim.

Odyssey said again Monday that their recovery conformed with salvage laws, the site was beyond the territorial waters or legal jurisdiction of any country, and the coins were legally exported to the United States.

"We do believe that most shipwrecks that we recover, including the 'Black Swan,' will likely result in claims by other parties," the company said. "Many will be spurious claims, but we anticipate that there might be some legitimate ones as well. ... It is the opinion of our legal counsel that even if a claim is deemed to be legitimate by the courts, Odyssey should still receive title to a significant majority of the recovered goods."

Meanwhile, Odyssey and the Walt Disney Co. are reveling in a happy coincidence - news of the deep-sea explorers' good fortune hit the media just as the hype cranked up for the new Disney movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

Odyssey started working with Disney about a year ago, well before the latest treasure find, Stemm said. But now they are talking about possible TV and movie projects related to it.

"Odyssey brings authentic deep-ocean projects, and Disney brings the ability to communicate the excitement of the projects to people in virtually every format," Stemm said. "There's nobody who does it better."

Posts: 1986 | From: Florida | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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