These coins were among the long-lost treasures of the Dutch East India ship Zuytdorp, which was wrecked on remote and treacherous cliffs north of Kalbarri in 1712. The ship was carrying a rich cargo, including silver bullion, when she disappeared. No-one knows what became of her crew, though many believed survivors made it ashore and mixed with local Aboriginal people. There was no official word of the ship for more than a century, until geologist Phillip Playford met directly with local Aboriginal people who’d found silver coins washed ashore. Playford dived at the site and was astonished to discover a sparkling “carpet of silver” under the waves. Thousands of silver coins had amassed over several square metres of reef, and remained largely intact despite centuries of time under tumultuous waters.