This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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The “Ship of Gold” exhibit, showcasing California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the S.S. Central America, will make port in Boston at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money, Aug. 10-14 at the Hynes Convention Center. The exhibit is courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach, Calif.
The S.S. Central America was recovered in 1988 from nearly 8,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The ship sank in a hurricane in September 1857 while carrying California gold from Panama to New York City.
“There will be examples of historic assayers’ ingots as well as San Francisco Mint and California Territorial gold coins with a combined value of over $10 million,” said Adam Crum, vice president of Monaco. “One of the highlights is a huge Kellogg & Humbert ingot. Weighing just over 55 troy pounds, it is the largest surviving gold ingot of the California Gold Rush.”
The exhibit also includes one of the 13 recovered octagonal $50 gold pieces produced by the United States Assay Office of San Francisco, and the remains of a wooden cargo box that still contains approximately 110 double eagles as they were found on the ocean floor. Many appear to be 1857-S $20 gold pieces, apparently freshly struck at the San Francisco Mint when they were placed in the container for shipping.
Visitors will see the front pages of three 1857 newspapers that published stories about the shipwreck, the ordeal of survivors and the devastating economic effects created by the loss of the gold. Robert Evans, the chief scientist on the 1980s mission by the Columbus-America Discovery Group that located and recovered the magnificent sunken treasure, will be in Boston to meet visitors and discuss the S.S. Central America, her cargo, crew and passengers.
The Ship of Gold display was first publicly presented in February 2000. It has been seen by more than one million people in exhibitions at several venues and cities across the country.
World’s Fair of Money hours are 1-5:30 p.m. Aug. 10, and 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Aug. 11-14. Admission is $6 for adults, and free for ANA members and children 12 and under.
For more show information, call (719) 482-9857, or visit www.worldsfairofmoney.com.
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