The SS Central America is the sunken treasure wreck that just keeps on giving.
From the latest release of the California Gold Marketing Group LLC of Brea, Calif., we see a veritable census of Territorial gold issues from the Gold Rush.
The ship sank in a hurricane off the coast of North Carolina with so much gold aboard that news of the tragedy sparked the Panic of 1857 on Wall Street.
A remarkable 105 pieces fall into the Territorial gold coin category.
All have been slabbed by the Professional Coin Grading Service.
Eager coin buyers will read the list of gold issues as a hungry person reads a menu.
“We have finished carefully examining and cataloging the $5, $10 and $20 gold Territorials we took possession of earlier this year that were retrieved from the SS Central America in 2014,” said CGMG Managing Partner Dwight Manley.
“There are an unprecedented 50 Kellogg & Co. $20 coins, including two monumentally rare, uncirculated coins! Ten of those 50 were found together in a pile with other coins on the Atlantic Ocean seabed off the coast of the Carolinas,” Manley said.
For any collector who ever drooled over the Territorial gold section of the Red Book, the list of rarities is staggering. It includes:
• The second-finest-known 1854 Kellogg $20, graded PCGS MS-62+.
• The-second-finest known 1855 Kellogg $20, PCGS MS-61.
• Two rare 1855 Wass Molitor Small Head variety $20 gold coins that are among the finest known, with one graded PCGS AU-58 and the other PCGS AU-55.
There is also a rare 1853 U.S. Assay Office $20 “884 THOUS” variety, graded PCGS AU-55+. This variety has a story to tell.
“The very rare 884 THOUS variety, representing a gold content fineness of .884 purity, was struck for only eight days in February and March of 1853 before they switched to the more acceptable ‘900 THOUS’ standard,” explained Bob Evans, the chief scientist on the 1980s missions that first located and recovered a portion of the SS Central America treasure and then assisted with the 2014 recovery.
“We also found five 1853 Moffat & Co. $20s,” Evans said.
“It was really exciting to locate these because we didn’t recovery any Moffat $20s during any of the earlier expeditions.”
Evans is the curator of all of the recovered treasure.
Can you imagine handling each and every piece on the list below? I can’t.
It is simply amazing.
$20 denomination (total of 77 coins):
• 1854 Kellogg & Co. (26 coins)
• 1855 Kellogg & Co. (24)
• 1853 Moffat & Co. (5)
• 1853 US Assay Office 884 THOUS (1)
• 1853 US Assay Office 900 THOUS (19)
• 1855 Wass Molitor & Co. Small Head (2)
$10 denomination (total of 13 coins):
• 1849 Moffat & Co. TEN DOL. (1)
• 1849 Moffat & Co. TEN D. (2)
• 1852/1 Humbert (1)
• 1852 Humbert (1)
• 1852 US Assay Office ( 3)
• 1853 US Assay Office 900 THOUS (1)
• 1852 Wass Molitor & Co. Small Head (1)
• 1852 Wass Molitor & Co. Large Head (2)
• 1855 Wass Molitor & Co. (1)
$5 denomination (total of 15 coins):
• 1849 Moffat & Co. (11)
• 1850 Moffat & Co. (2)
• 1852 Wass Molitor & Co. Small Head (2)
It is no wonder buyers are lining up with their checkbooks.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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