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Bredenhof, sunk in 1753 off Mozambique

The Bredenhof was a Dutch East Indiaman headed to India with 14 barrels of copper “duits” (penny-like coins), 29 chests of silver bars, and one chest of gold ducats. On June 6, 1753, about 13 miles from the eastern coast of Africa and 120 miles south of the Portuguese settlement of Mozambique, the Bredenhof found herself in difficult currents and struck a reef. Amazingly, among the first items jettisoned to try to raise the ship off the reef were some of the chests of silver bars! The gold was taken by the ship’s officers, some of whom survived the trip to Mozambique, but the silver bars and copper coins were lost until modern times, despite salvage attempts in the 1750s.

In 1986, divers found the wreck, which yielded hundreds of silver ingots and thousands of copper coins, all sold at auction by Christie’s Amsterdam that same year.


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