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Treasure in Long Beach

A fabled treasure worth $10 million will be brought back for public viewing in California at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Sports Collectibles Expo slated for Sept. 26-28 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
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A fabled treasure worth $10 million will be brought back for public viewing in California at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Sports Collectibles Expo slated for Sept. 26-28 at the Long Beach Convention Center.


To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the wreck of the S.S. Central America, the “Ship of Gold” display will be a featured part of the show.

In addition to the riches of the California Gold Rush, show-goers will also be able to see the finest known registered set of Morgan dollars and a multi-million dollar ANA Road Show exhibit from the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Road Show is highlighted by two 1804 dollars.

“This will be one of the most impressive arrays of numismatic treasures in the history of the Long Beach Expo,” said Cassi East, president of the Long Beach Expo.

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The S.S. Central America was carrying tons of California gold when she sank in a hurricane in September 1857 during a voyage from Panama to New York City. The shipwreck site and the gold were discovered more than 7,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean in September 1988.

The “Ship of Gold” will display specks of gold dust as well as huge gold bars that weigh over 50 troy pounds each, including Justh & Hunter ingots weighing 754 and 652 ounces and a Kellogg & Humbert ingot weighing 662 ounces.

The Ship of Gold exhibit is a 40-foot long representation of the ship’s hull courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach, Calif. It required months of work to coordinate with collectors who privately own many of the items that will be displayed.

Robert D. Evans, the chief scientist on the 1980s mission that located and recovered the fabulous sunken treasure, will be at the exhibit each day during the show to meet with visitors and present educational programs about the “Ship of Gold.”

“It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years since we first saw that sidewheel frame (on the ocean floor), sending electricity through the control room as my crew mates exclaimed, ‘Oh! You know what that is! You know what that is! All right!’ Then, seeing the first glint of gold dust in the sea floor sediment under my microscope, finding and recovering the bell, and seeing the first pile of gold bars and coins. It still seems new, like yesterday,” recalled Evans.

“For me these days, it is the reactions of other people as they see pieces of America’s greatest lost treasure that brings it all back, vibrant and fresh in my memories. I love to tell the stories, both those of the men and women of the Gold Rush, and my own experience with the treasure, which still speaks to me.”

Other exhibits at the Long Beach Expo include the first-ever public display of the Coronet Collection, now the finest Morgan silver dollar set in the PCGS Set Registry®. The collection will be displayed at the Professional Coin Grading Service booth, courtesy of Laura Sperber, Legend Numismatics of New Jersey, and the anonymous collector who owns the coins.

The ANA Road Show dollars are the Cohen Class I 1804 dollar and the Idler/Bebee Class III 1804 dollar.

The ANA exhibit will also include a selection of rare California National Bank Notes and California National Gold Bank Notes, notable numismatic errors such as a three-legged 1937-D Buffalo nickel and 1955 doubled-die Lincoln cent, and archive papers of former United States Mint Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro.

Heritage Auctions will conduct a public auction of rare coins and currency during the show.

Public hours are Thursday and Friday, Sept. 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Public admission is $8 (good for all three days); $6 for members of any coin or stamp club; $4 for seniors 65 and older and for children ages 8 to 16. Free admission for children ages 7 and younger and for members of the Collectors Universe Collectors Clubs and Set Registries. Discount coupons and a Schedule of Events are available online at

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