1857 SS Central America Shipwreck Treasures at ANA World’s Fair of Money

by American Numismatic Association on June 28, 2010 · 0 comments

The incredible "Ship of Gold" exhibit, showcasing California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America, will make port in Boston at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money, August 10-14 at the Hynes Convention Center. The exhibit is courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach, Calif.

Cargo box and coins
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE: The remains of a wooden cargo box with approximately 110 gold coins as they were found on the ocean floor will be among the more than $10 million of recovered California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure from the SS Central America that will be publicly displayed in a “Ship of Gold” exhibit. (Photo credit: Monaco Rare Coins)

The SS 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 SS Central America, her cargo, crew and passengers.

The Ship of Gold display was first publicly presented in February 2000. Over the years it has been seen by more than one million people in exhibitions at several venues and cities across the country.

The ANA World’s Fair of Money is the nation’s premiere money show. Show hours are 1-5:30 p.m. August 10, and 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. August 11-14. Dealer set-up is from 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 10. Admission is $6 for adults, and free for ANA members and children 12 and under. For more information on all of the show highlights, call 719-482-9857 or visit www.worldsfairofmoney.com.

About ANA

ANAThe American Numismatic Association is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items.

The ANA helps its 32,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of education and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, conventions and seminars. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit www.money.org.

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