Skip to main content

Community Voice Responses (April 25, 2017)

From the Mar. 31 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:

Community Voice 0425

Are recovered sunken treasure silver bars cheap at twice melt value?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

Yes, they are. Buyers are paying for the historical value, not just the intrinsic value. An historical artifact has more value than a similar, newer piece. Is a Picasso painting cheap at twice the value of the canvas and ink? Of course.

Peter Glassman
Schaumburg, Ill.

I really have to say, “Yes, see below.” These bars are history of our past. The smart individuals that may purchase one or some will have real value in what they stand for and the silver metal content. Hopefully the bars will not be all corroded as to not be able to see what they really look like. I’m going by the pictures you sent. Those bars are beauties.

Seawater salt damage on exposed bars and coins render them to bullion. Not much beauty there.

James Eley
Robstown, Texas


William Johnston
San Antonio, Texas

The first question that comes to my mind is, why would sunken silver from 200 years ago be worth more than the silver we have today? Now if it was in the form of coins I’d say maybe, but a bar of silver is a just a bar of silver.

Bob D. Allen
Address withheld

Yes, this can be worth it when you consider the historical value of such an item. I do agree that a premium for an item may not be worth it to some, but only in a collectable. Yes, even I have a few items of this nature.

One item I do have I dug out of a junk box many years ago. Yes, for only 25 cents, I have an historical piece. A 1797 British large penny. Granted, it’s in AG-G condition, but according to NN News, it is the first coin to be pressed by a steam press. A prized find for sure. Like anything else, keep looking. You may find an equal to this.

Gary Kess
Berkel en Rodenrijs, Netherlands

No. Silver is silver.

Ginger Rapsus
Address withheld

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

More Collecting Resources

• Liked this article? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News.

• Keep up to date on prices for Canada, United States and Mexico coinage with the 2017 North American Coins & Prices guide.