Along the coast of Namibia, Africa, diamond miners were trying their luck hoping to find some precious gems so they can reach their quota. However, they weren’t expecting to dig up something that exceeded the value of a few diamonds. It was a shipwreck dating back 500 years ago that contained treasure far beyond our imagination.
Back in April 2008, exactly ten years ago, geologists working for the De Beers mining company came first across the shipwreck. The Bom Jesus or “Good Jesus” was a Portuguese ship that sailed from Lisbon back in 1533. The captain was a man named Sir Francisco de Noronha.
It was believed that the ship made a trip to India but it looks like it didn’t reach it’s destination. The miners who were working at the coast didn’t find the hidden treasure at first and it took six days for them to finally hit the jackpot.
Just like in the story books we read as kids, they discovered a treasure chest filled with gold and silver coins. Experts say that the wreck of “Bom Jesus” was one of the most important finds in history. It was placed in the care and protection of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage.
According to the source, some of the treasures found inside the ship were gold and silver currency from Portugal, Spain, Florence and Venice as well as German copper ingots and West African ivory. There were also bronze kitchenware and tools used for astrology during that era.
But now, one question remains. Who would get the gold? Well, Dr. Dieter Noli had an answer prepared.
“That is the normal procedure when a ship is found on a beach. The only exception is when it is a ship of state – then the country under whose flag the ship was sailing gets it and all its contents. And in this case the ship belonged to the King of Portugal, making it a ship of state – with the ship and its entire contents belonging to Portugal. The Portuguese government, however, very generously waived that right, allowing Namibia to keep the lot.“
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Can you believe that a shipwreck holding that much treasure was just lying around? What would you have done if you were one of the diamond miners who discovered Bom Jesus? Share your thoughts, reactions, and opinions in the comments section below!