A sound only a few have heard since 1857 will be used to signal the start of a free online presentation as part of a Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium (www.NNPsymposium.org) at 1 pm Eastern on Sunday, March 21, 2021.
It is the ringing of the ship’s bell recovered from the fabled "Ship of Gold," the SS Central America, that sank in 1857 while carrying crew, passengers, and tons of California Gold Rush-era treasures.
Scientist and historian Bob Evans, who was a key member on each of the recovery expeditions starting in the late 1980s, will present an illustrated talk entitled, "SS Central America, Ship of Gold: Unusual Discoveries, Wonders, and Mysteries."
"Of course, in addition to the thousands of retrieved numismatic items such as gold and silver coins, courageous miner’s gold dust and assayers’ ingots, the SS Central America was a time capsule of life during the California Gold Rush with fascinating personal items that were recovered. There are examples of gold jewelry showing the culture of San Francisco and pioneer Gold Rush society of the time, rubber and tortoise shell combs, steel pen nibs and quills, and other things that illustrate life during a transition to the Industrial Revolution," explained Evans, a consultant to California Gold Marketing Group, owner of the treasure.
He will open his symposium session with a recording of the 268-pound bronze bell that was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean floor and has been in secure storage for more than three decades.
"The SS Central America is the greatest American treasure ever found. Bob’s symposium will publicly reveal for the first time some of the more than 1,000 non-numismatic recovered items that now are being conserved and cataloged in Florida by Collectibles Authentication Guaranty (www.CAGcertified.com), a sister-company of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (www.NGCcoin.com)," said Dwight Manley, Managing Partner of the California Gold Market Group. "In the coming months, we’ll be revealing more information."
The S.S. Central America sank 7,200 feet under the surface of the Atlantic Ocean 150 miles off the North Carolina coast during a hurricane on September 12, 1857.
She was on a voyage from Panama to New York carrying tons of California Gold Rush coins, ingots, and gold dust from the San Francisco and Northern California area. The tragedy took the lives of 425 of the ship’s 578 passengers and crew members, and the loss of the gold cargo was a major factor in the economically devastating financial panic of 1857 in the United States.
Free registration for the NNP Symposium can be done online at www.NNPsymposium.org, and registrants will receive Zoom links before the event. A full schedule of events is posted at www.NNPsymposium.org/schedule.