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Precious metals buried under debris

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Buried somewhere under the World Trade Center rubble lies a fortune.

Tons of gold and silver had been stored in underground vaults beneath 4 World Trade Center when the building collapsed September 11.

According to the New York Mercantile Exchange, Scotia Mocatta -- the bullion and metals division of Bank of Nova Scotia -- was storing 379,036 ounces of gold and 29,942,619 ounces of silver in vaults under 4 World Trade Center. It is owned by people or companies who bought the metals as investments.

That's 11.8 tons of gold and 935.7 tons of silver.

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Jeffrey Christian, a precious metals consultant for the CPM Group in New York, predicted to CNN that the absence of the gold will have no impact on the market.

Because silver supplies are tighter, its absence could have a limited impact, he said.

In a week in which stocks have plummeted to three-year lows, investing in the metals would have been a smart move.

When the vaults were locked September 10, the gold was worth $272.30 per ounce, or $103,211,503.

By September 21, its value -- wherever it is -- had soared 7.6 percent to $292.90 per ounce, or $111,019,644.

And the silver rose 10.3 percent in value from $4.19 per ounce, or $129,063,811, to $4.62 per ounce, or $142,114,861.

The price of silver rose faster than the price of gold because silver supplies are tighter, Christian said.

Larry Scott, head of Scotia Mocatta in Toronto, said he could not discuss the location of precious metals held by the company.

"Operations are obviously not normal, but we have no concerns at this time, either security or financial," he said.

Security has been tight in the area since the attacks, provided by hundreds of FBI agents and police round the clock.






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