Rectangular bar of gold with Russian markings on a green baize background

Edinburgh’s Gold

In 1942 HMS Edinburgh was returning to the UK from Russia laden with gold bullion – payment to the Allies for supplies during World War 2. The convoy in which she was travelling was attacked. HMS Edinburgh was damaged and eventually scuttled. She sank in 240m (800ft) of water; in Russian waters.

In 1981 British diver, Keith Jessop, mounted an expedition to salvage “Stalin’s Gold” from the bomb room of HMS Edinburgh!  The divers worked on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis. Several weeks into the operation, they struck gold – literally. It was one of the deepest working dives ever and the one of the largest gold salvages ever (in terms of the value)!

The replica “gold bar” at the museum is made from a cast of the first bar of gold to be recovered from HMS Edinburgh. It is made of lead and weighs 6.7 kg. If it were real gold it would it would be 1.7 times heavier weighing 11.39 kg; try picking it up one handed! 

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