Sunken treasure drew a record crowd at the February Long Beach Expo Feb. 22-24.
The Ship of Gold Exhibit, featuring gold and silver coins, nuggets and California gold dust, was a 40-foot long recreation of the hull of the legendary SS Central America that sank in 1857. It was sponsored by California Gold Marketing Group, owner of the trove.
"Overall, attendance at the February 2018 show was 43 percent higher than in February 2017,” said Cassi East, president of the Long Beach Expo.
Los Angeles area television covered the exhibit, and earlier there were stories by Associated Press and CBS This Morning about the treasure and the display.
“We had visitors from across the United States and overseas. One collector told me he came from London, England, just to see the exhibit,” said Dwight Manley, managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group.
This was the first public display of a portion of the historic gold and silver coins, gold ingots and gold dust recovered during the 2014 expedition to the Atlantic Ocean site where the Gold Rush-era cargo was lost at sea 161 years ago. The California Gold Marketing Group LLC acquired the treasure from Ira Owen Kane, Receiver for Recovery Limited Partnership and Columbus Exploration, LLC in a court-approved transaction this past November.
“The exhibit included a new type of historic SS Central America item never before seen or displayed: leather satchels (pokes) filled with more than 1,000 ounces of gold bounty mined from the California Gold Rush,” Manley said.
“The gold dust, mother lode quartz gold nuggets and other treasure have been in the original pokes since before Abraham Lincoln was president,” he said.
The ship sank 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, during a hurricane on Sept. 12, 1857.
Bob Evans, the chief scientist and historian who has been on all three recovery missions dating back to 1988, met with visitors during each day of the shoow.
He now is curating and cataloging more than 15,000 U.S. and world gold, silver and copper coins. A portion of the hoard is currently being certified by Professional Coin Grading Service. The first of the treasure items are expected to be offered for sale by selected dealers in April.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today
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