Where did the gold go?

ARC

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Very interesting.
How much gold was shipped?
What were the paths of the shipping over land?
Where was the gold laden on coastal ships and boats?
What were the routes of the ships?

We know that most of the gold was shipped in the form of coins, bars and jewelry.
gold dust is very difficult to find on a shipwreck.
You may enjoy ...
 

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Oceanscience

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Where did the gold go?
Where did the gold come from?
1404.jpg

Let's look at the story of this coin.
Who minted these coins?
What was the purpose of these coins? Here is a hint: A contemporary historian said: "Now that they got paid, they are happy. I don't understand why, because they cannot even buy food with their money because there is not even a rat to be had."
Where did the gold come from for these coins?
What happened to these coins?
Why are they so rare?
How did this one coin survive?
 

scruggs

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By the year 1500, there was about 50 tons of gold in European hands.
Then came the plunder of the Americas.
This added another 150 tons of gold.
By the year 1700 there was about 200 tons of gold in European hands.

Then the gold from Brazil started coming.

The Brazilian gold production was massive. During the next 130 years, about 1800 tons of the gold shipped, arrived in Portugal.

How many ships sank with large amounts of gold on board?

But what happened to the gold after it arrived in Portugal?

A very large part was shipped again, from Portugal to France and specially to England.

How much of that gold ended up on the bottom of the ocean?
Very good question and i think we all would like to know the answer.
 

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Oceanscience

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Where did the gold go?
Where did the gold come from?
View attachment 2134333
Let's look at the story of this coin.
Who minted these coins?
What was the purpose of these coins? Here is a hint: A contemporary historian said: "Now that they got paid, they are happy. I don't understand why, because they cannot even buy food with their money because there is not even a rat to be had."
Where did the gold come from for these coins?
What happened to these coins?
Why are they so rare?
How did this one coin survive?
About 20 carats of purity.
About one quarter of an ounce of gold for the largest ones denominated
XII Guilders. III Guilders and VI Guilders the smaller ones.
In his slide show about his adventures in Brazil, at Florida university, Bob Marx shows a picture of 15 of these coins that were recovered from the wreck site of the "Utrecht", of the Dutch West India Company, sunk in a battle in 1648.
Bob Marx sold these coins at an auction for US$ 25,000 each.
That is the end of the story.

Next I will start telling the beginning of the story.
1405.jpg
 

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Oceanscience

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If you really want to know where the gold came from, you must look at the trade of mercury.
Mercury was used for the extraction of gold and silver.
Follow the mercury and you will find the gold.
Right, follow the mercury and you will find the gold. You will also find who really owned the world.
You think the king of Spain was immensely rich? Yes, he was, in debts.
Check the bankers he owed money.
The Fuggers controlled the Mercury trade. The bankers owned the world.

Still the same today.
 

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Oceanscience

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Recife_1647_Capitaniarum.png

The Dutch colony Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil, was under siege by the Portuguese. The Dutch mercenaries, (yes there were some German, Swiss and several more nationalities among them) were starving and so was the entire population of the town. The mercenaries went on strike and demanded to be paid, otherwise they would stop fighting to defend the town… But, there was no money.

As things got really desperate, 3 Dutch ships arrived from the Gold Coast with some food, slaves and about 350 kg of gold.
Map_Gold Coast.png

A local jeweler was put in charge of minting coins with the gold from the Gold Coast in Africa. The jeweler cast planches with the gold, cut the planches into squares, weighed the squares and stamped them with a stamp he manufactured. After a certain amount of coins stamped, a new stamp had to be made. He charged for the cost of making a new stamp. Around 20 different stamps in all.

It was no easy task, but obviously he was an excellent craftsman. He was also a meticulous accountant.

He accounted for every grain of gold. Quite often the crucible broke and the gold run into the fire. He accounted for every grain of gold lost in the fire.

Why did he make square gold coins?

These square pieces of gold were not meant to be coins. They were a means of payment in an emergency. Kind like an IOU.

The gold was minted into about 32,000 gold coins. The square emergency coins had about 20% less gold than they should have according to their denomination.

The mercenaries got paid and continued to defend the town. The comments of a contemporary historian are interesting. He found it funny that the mercenaries were happy with the gold coins, even if they had to be lucky to even be able to buy a rat to eat. Dogs and cats had long been eaten and the rats were scarce.

A few years later, a fleet from the Netherlands brought general supplies, food, arms, soldiers and money. The emergency gold coins were exchanged against real silver money. The fleet continued cruising on a blockade along the coast of Brazil. Near the town of Salvador, they run into a small Portuguese fleet that was defending the harbor.

During the battle 1 Portuguese galleon, the “Rosario” 1648 and 2 Dutch galleons “Utrecht” 1648 and “Huis Nassau”, sank when the Portuguese galleon blew up.

Why did the captain of the “Utrecht” have a few of these gold coins in his cabin? Why did he not trade them in for higher value in silver?
1406.png


The government of Brazil made a postal stamp issue, about the gold coins from the Dutch galleon “Utrecht”1648.

So this happened with the gold coming from the “Gold Coast”, today the country called Ghana. This established a source of gold for us.

We know where the gold went and where the gold came from.

Do we know anything more about gold coming from the gold coast?

More of that in the next chapter.
 

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Oceanscience

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We have established the "Gold Coast" as a source of gold in the colonial time.
Can we find information about some of this gold having reached the USA?
There was a regular slave trade between the USA and the "Gold Coast". Probably most of these slave ships carried some gold.
I found information about amounts like 20 pounds, 150 pounds and so on.
Maybe it would be a worthwile exercise to do some more research in this direction?
I also found the location of one of these ships.
 

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Oceanscience

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Where did the gold go?
Ghana's Gold Production
was reported at 140,000.000 kg in Dec 2020. · This records a decrease from the previous figure of 142,000.000 kg for Dec 2019. · Ghana ...

142 metric tons of gold per year. That is quite an amount of gold. And this is only the official amount. How much more left the country illegally?

It is known that gold was exported from the “Gold Coast”, to day s Ghana for thousand years. Where did that gold go? We do not know.

We do know that with the slave trade in the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries a lot of gold was exported. How much? We have little information about the amounts, but digging in the archives, we will probably find enough evidence to enable us to make an educated guess.

Below, an extract from a sworn statement of a ship s carpenter who had been impressed into service by a pirate. 1681.

  • They sold the goods to negroes for 2 lb. weight of gold.
  • She was a Flushinger, an Interloper of twenty guns, with seventy pounds of gold on board and abundance of liquor
  • Tortured him exceedingly, took all that he had
  • Next day they took another interloper with some small quantity of gold, took everything out
  • They tortured the men and got about twenty pounds weight of gold.
  • Went on towards Wheda. Captured three boats full of trading goods; took all the goods and men and sunk the boats.
  • At Little Poapaw found an interloper at anchor; took her without resistance, and plundered her.
  • Where they tied the men up so tightly for the night that they were in torture. They found one chest of gold of fifty pounds weight, and, hearing of another, shot the gunner dead and flogged the rest of the men to make them confess where it was.
  • And took 150 pounds weight of gold
  • Was wrecked, but the men saved the gold and took it ashore
  • Off Cape St. John's the pirates landed and divided the gold taken on the voyage, where, owing to quarrels, the company divided, and some went for the West Indies
  • They captured an Interloper and a ship of the Royal African Company, and took what gold they had
We see that this pirate knew about the gold on board of ships Royal African Company as well as the Interlopers. He specifically targeted such ships.

I wonder about the 20th century?

How much gold was shipped out of Ghana during WWI and WWII?

Where did that gold go?

How many shipments were lost? Where?
 

Crow

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Ghana has a long history of mining, especially for gold. Gold from West Africa was traded to Europe at least as early as the tenth century.

Most of this gold came by Sahara caravan, the original sources being the kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. In the early colonial time, it is thought that annually more than a quarter of a million ounces of gold reached Europe from African sources.

Based mainly on native workings, numerous gold deposits, both bedrock and placer, were rediscovered during the latter part of the nineteenth century throughout Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and the other nations of the Gold Coast.

The Precambrian auriferous Tarkwa conglomerates of Ghana were developed in a modern way during the period 1876-1882 by Pierre Bonnat, the father of modern gold mining in the Gold Coast.

In 1895, Ashanti Goldfields Corporation began work in the Obuasi district of Ghana, developing the Ashanti and other mines, which have produced the largest proportion of gold since 1900 in the countries of the Gold Coast. All of these deposits are of Precambrian age.

At the Obuasi mine, over the years, 25 million ounces of gold were mined. At Bogoso, since mining operations commenced in 1873, more than nine million ounces of gold were produced, largely from extensive underground operations.

so from 1873 those two mines alone produced 36 million ounces.

36 million ounces divided by 32000 ounces per ton 1125 tons. The Gold Coast was a British Crown colony on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa from 1821 until its independence in 1957 as Ghana. A large proportion of that ended up in the hands of British.

During WW2 many of that gold was shipped to UK with other raw materials. much of gold was used as payments to USA for supplies and arms to fight Germany. It in essence helped pay for war. drag America out of great depression to become a super power.
A lot of that wealth helped create a mega armaments industry that you have in states today. And a lot of companies that supplied the war efforts.
After WW2 the UK was bankrupt and the British empire empire had collapsed. It had nearly collapsed after WW1. WW2 was the nail in the coffin of the empire and status of super power moved to USA. The Anglo-American Loan Agreement was a loan made to the United Kingdom by the United States on 15 July 1946, enabling its economy after the Second World War to keep afloat.

Problems arose on the American side, with many in Congress reluctant, and with sharp differences between the treasury and state departments. The loan was for US$3.75 billion (equivalent to $56.28 billion in 2022) at a low 2% interest rate; Canada loaned an additional US$1.9 billion (equivalent to $28.51 billion in 2022).

The British economy in 1947 was hurt by a provision that called for convertibility into dollars of the wartime sterling balances the British had borrowed from India and others, but by 1948, the Marshall plan included financial support that was not expected to be repaid. The entire loan was paid off in 2006, after it was extended six years.
Ironic japan and Germany boomed after the war. The UK stagnated and became an industrial rust belt. the mega rich and lords well they still had money but average person life was struggle.

Thousands of emigrated to United states, Canada, Australia and New Zealand fleeing poverty. crippling poverty. 139000 emigrated to America, 550000 to Canada,over 1 million to Australia and 177000 new Zealand as those countries boomed post war.

After the war the average lot of every person was pretty awful and still is in some places of the country. My family fled Ireland that was crap after the Irish civil war to UK only to find and their lot was even worse. The British they might of been on the winning side. For many it did not feel like it. So most of gold from Ghana end up as some of the wealth of united states have today.

But gold came from many sources and gold rush America had two of their own. Australia had one, south Africa. As well as in south America just to name few. modern technology increased gold production.

Gold is gold an asset the first real bit coin. empires come and go but the gold is always floating through the world economies since the age of empires..

Crow
 

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Crow

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There are at least seven ww2 vessels I suspect have gold on them from Ghana in ww2 that I know of This ship below Kota Tjandi sunk 29 April was some 120 miles from Freetown.

Kota Tjandi.JPG

There was others nearby in convoy sunk by the same subnarine.

Crow
 

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Oceanscience

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Ghana has a long history of mining, especially for gold. Gold from West Africa was traded to Europe at least as early as the tenth century.

Most of this gold came by Sahara caravan, the original sources being the kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. In the early colonial time, it is thought that annually more than a quarter of a million ounces of gold reached Europe from African sources.

Based mainly on native workings, numerous gold deposits, both bedrock and placer, were rediscovered during the latter part of the nineteenth century throughout Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and the other nations of the Gold Coast.

The Precambrian auriferous Tarkwa conglomerates of Ghana were developed in a modern way during the period 1876-1882 by Pierre Bonnat, the father of modern gold mining in the Gold Coast.

In 1895, Ashanti Goldfields Corporation began work in the Obuasi district of Ghana, developing the Ashanti and other mines, which have produced the largest proportion of gold since 1900 in the countries of the Gold Coast. All of these deposits are of Precambrian age.

At the Obuasi mine, over the years, 25 million ounces of gold were mined. At Bogoso, since mining operations commenced in 1873, more than nine million ounces of gold were produced, largely from extensive underground operations.

so from 1873 those two mines alone produced 36 million ounces.

36 million ounces divided by 32000 ounces per ton 1125 tons. The Gold Coast was a British Crown colony on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa from 1821 until its independence in 1957 as Ghana. A large proportion of that ended up in the hands of British.

During WW2 many of that gold was shipped to UK with other raw materials. much of gold was used as payments to USA for supplies and arms to fight Germany. It in essence helped pay for war. drag America out of great depression to become a super power.
A lot of that wealth helped create a mega armaments industry that you have in states today. And a lot of companies that supplied the war efforts.
After WW2 the UK was bankrupt and the British empire empire had collapsed. It had nearly collapsed after WW1. WW2 was the nail in the coffin of the empire and status of super power moved to USA. The Anglo-American Loan Agreement was a loan made to the United Kingdom by the United States on 15 July 1946, enabling its economy after the Second World War to keep afloat.

Problems arose on the American side, with many in Congress reluctant, and with sharp differences between the treasury and state departments. The loan was for US$3.75 billion (equivalent to $56.28 billion in 2022) at a low 2% interest rate; Canada loaned an additional US$1.9 billion (equivalent to $28.51 billion in 2022).

The British economy in 1947 was hurt by a provision that called for convertibility into dollars of the wartime sterling balances the British had borrowed from India and others, but by 1948, the Marshall plan included financial support that was not expected to be repaid. The entire loan was paid off in 2006, after it was extended six years.
Ironic japan and Germany boomed after the war. The UK stagnated and became an industrial rust belt. the mega rich and lords well they still had money but average person life was struggle.

Thousands of emigrated to United states, Canada, Australia and New Zealand fleeing poverty. crippling poverty. 139000 emigrated to America, 550000 to Canada,over 1 million to Australia and 177000 new Zealand as those countries boomed post war.

After the war the average lot of every person was pretty awful and still is in some places of the country. My family fled Ireland that was crap after the Irish civil war to UK only to find and their lot was even worse. The British they might of been on the winning side. For many it did not feel like it. So most of gold from Ghana end up as some of the wealth of united states have today.

But gold came from many sources and gold rush America had two of their own. Australia had one, south Africa. As well as in south America just to name few. modern technology increased gold production.

Gold is gold an asset the first real bit coin. empires come and go but the gold is always floating through the world economies since the age of empires..

Crow
Thank you Crow, for the very interesting info.
 

Red_desert

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I heard a jewelry maker claim that lime green diamonds mined in Brazil, were used in the crown jewels of Portugal. I can't find any evidence by searching to back this up. The Portugal green diamond probably came from a mine in South Africa.

River in Brazil Where Lime Green Diamonds Were Mined​


Lime green diamonds were mined from the Jequitinhonha River near the village of Arraial do Tijuco (later named Diamantina) in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. This river was the site of diamond discoveries in the early 1700s, when artisanal miners looking for gold along the river banks stumbled upon these precious gemstones. For the next 150 years, Minas Gerais was the world's major supplier of gem diamonds, including the lime green variety.

The diamonds in this region are recovered from secondary deposits over large watersheds or sedimentary rock formations, and are typically mined by artisanal miners called garimpeiros, using simple tools

. This area has been historically significant for the production of colored gemstones, including diamonds, and continues to be a notable source of alluvial diamonds mined from riverbeds and conglomerate host rock.

Therefore, the Jequitinhonha River in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, is where lime green diamonds were mined.
 

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Oceanscience

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Thank you for the interesting contribution, Red-Desert. Your knowledge is deep.
I have seen pink, sky blue, green-ish, yellow, and white diamonds from the rivers Abaete and Rio do Sono in the same region.
Diamond dealers in Brazil can usually tell you right away from which region a batch of diamonds originates.
 

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Oceanscience

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I heard a jewelry maker claim that lime green diamonds mined in Brazil, were used in the crown jewels of Portugal. I can't find any evidence by searching to back this up. The Portugal green diamond probably came from a mine in South Africa.

River in Brazil Where Lime Green Diamonds Were Mined​


Lime green diamonds were mined from the Jequitinhonha River near the village of Arraial do Tijuco (later named Diamantina) in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. This river was the site of diamond discoveries in the early 1700s, when artisanal miners looking for gold along the river banks stumbled upon these precious gemstones. For the next 150 years, Minas Gerais was the world's major supplier of gem diamonds, including the lime green variety.

The diamonds in this region are recovered from secondary deposits over large watersheds or sedimentary rock formations, and are typically mined by artisanal miners called garimpeiros, using simple tools

. This area has been historically significant for the production of colored gemstones, including diamonds, and continues to be a notable source of alluvial diamonds mined from riverbeds and conglomerate host rock.

Therefore, the Jequitinhonha River in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, is where lime green diamonds were mined.
I believe that the Brazilian Navy has issued a permit for the prospecting of diamonds offshore near the mouth of the river Jequetinhonha.
 

Red_desert

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I believe that the Brazilian Navy has issued a permit for the prospecting of diamonds offshore near the mouth of the river Jequetinhonha.


That would make sense, that diamonds could be washed into the ocean. It would be interesting to find a gold artifact with a Brazilian lime diamond. You pay a lot for any jewelry with one of them set. Did a revised search for the value.

Valuable Lime Green Diamonds Mined in Brazil​


Brazil is known for producing high-quality diamonds in rare and exclusive colors, including lime green. These diamonds are found in alluvial deposits in Brazilian riverbeds, and they are typically recovered by artisanal miners using simple tools and operating individually or in small groups.

The lime green diamonds mined in Brazil are considered valuable due to their rarity and unique color. The country has a long history of diamond production, and the presence of these rare colored diamonds adds to the allure of Brazilian gemstones.

Overall, the lime green diamonds mined in Brazil hold significant value in the world of gemstones due to their scarcity and distinctive color, making them highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.
.
 

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creatmosfairy

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Interesting sources, where did the gold goes:

-Rita Martins De Sousa: Brazilian Gold an the Lisbon Mint House 1720-1807 2008
-Leonor Freire Costa/Maria Manuela Rocha/Rita Martins De Sousa: Brazilian Gold in the Eighteenth Century:A Reassessment 2010

Each of this studies have a lot of archive research resources and basic information.

Sousa: page 11, 2008 report:
-through the Livros dos Manifestos :
-270,803 contos between 1720-1807. Of this total, 77,5%(around 210,000 contos)was destined for the private agents and 22,5%(approximately 61,000 contos) was for the state.

Costa/Rocha/Sousa: page 9, 2010 report:
-A total of 557 tonnes of gold arrived in Portugal between 1720-1808
-From 1720-1785 664 tonnes of gold have arrived in Lisbon
-Fiscal records bring up a difference of 107 tonnes less.
-78% of the gold that arrived Portugal was already minted
-only 9% of the gold already minted in Brazil
 

Colombiapictures

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It is very difficult to find the real numbers of the gold shipped from Brazil.

The Portuguese government itself did everything to obfuscate the real amounts.
Then there was the gold, a lot of gold, shipped to Africa to pay for slaves. The slaves were then employed in digging for gold.

A lot of gold ended up in the coffers of the French.

Much more gold, maybe up to 50% went straight to the UK, by the English Navy.
"Victory" 1744?

An interesting case connected with gold smuggling by the EIC East India Company is the "Queen" 1800 in Salvador Brazil.
 

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