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Shipwreck could hold vast stock of 250-year-old rum

A British shipwreck discovered in Uruguay could hold treasure worth millions, including thousands of litres of 250-year-old rum.

A separate collection of 234-year-old rum discovered in a cellar in Leeds in 2013 sold for 164,000.

The wreck of the Lord Clive, destroyed by Spanish cannon fire in 1763, was discovered in 2003. However the Uruguayan government only gave permission for the vessel to be recovered this year.

As reported by The Guardian, the ship is said to contain vast stocks of rum, gold and other treasure according to Argentine explorer Rubén Collado, who first discovered the ship and who is now raising funds for its recovery.

Collado suspects that the wreckage will contain gold coins the captain would have been given to fund the ship’s three-year expedition, thousands of litres of rum, 64 bronze cannons and booty the crew had earlier seized from another ship.

While it’s not known if the rum will be drinkable, it could be worth a great deal. In 2013, a collection of Harewood rum from the 18th century sold for over six times its asking price at Christie’s, going under the hammer for £78,000 after it was found in the cellars of a stately home in Leeds. A further sixteen bottles of the 234-year-old rum sold for a record breaking £135,000 in 2014.

Collado has found and salvaged dozens of ships in the past, including the Nuestra Señora de Loreto in 1984 which contained millions of dollars worth of gold and silver coins. However he believes the Lord Clive could be his most valuable discovery yet.

“You can’t really make a valuation”, Collado told The Guardian. “The canons should be $64 million altogether. The coins are worth $5,000 to $6,000 each and there are 100,000 of them, so just do the math,” he said. “But the most important thing about that ship is her history. She’s probably the best you can find in that condition thanks to the fresh water in that part of the River Plate.”

The salvage operation is expected to start within two months.

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