SS Central America Treasures in Goldberg’s June 2022 Auction

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California Gold Rush-era treasures recovered from the fabled "Ship of Gold," the SS Central America that sank in 1857, will be offered for the first time in the Pre-Long Beach auction by Goldberg Coins & Collectibles (www.GoldbergCoins.com) on June 27, 2022.

1856 Octagonal Liberty gold half dollar, Breen and Gillio-311, graded PCGS MS-66 PL
1856 Octagonal Liberty gold half dollar, Breen and Gillio-311, graded PCGS MS-66 PL

The auction includes 15 of the finest condition California Fractional Gold coins offered to date from the legendary sunken treasure, a 51.78-ounce Justh & Hunter assayer’s gold ingot, and one of the finest known surviving 1854 New Orleans Mint Seated Liberty quarter dollars that was retrieved from the purser’s safe on the ship.

1854-O Arrows At Date, Huge O Mintmark, Seated Liberty quarter dollar, PCGS AU-55
1854-O Arrows At Date, Huge O Mintmark, Seated Liberty quarter dollar, PCGS AU-55

"The SS Central America is a time capsule of the California Gold Rush. Each of the treasure coins in the auction is housed in a special PCGS holder containing gold dust from miners’ pokes that were also recovered from about 7,200 feet below the Atlantic Ocean’s surface," explained Larry Goldberg, co-owner of Goldberg Coins & Collectibles in Los Angeles.

Justh and Hunter 51.78-ounce, 889 fine gold bar
Justh and Hunter 51.78-ounce, 889 fine gold bar

"The California Fractionals being offered for the first are the finest quality coins released to date from the 103 found during the 2014 recovery mission. There are some beautiful gems and prooflikes," said Dwight Manley, managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group which consigned the sunken treasure items to the auction.

Highlights of the auction session include:

  • 1856 Octagonal Liberty gold half dollar, Breen and Gillio-311, graded PCGS MS-66 PL;
  • 1856 Round Liberty Head gold half dollar, Breen and Gillio-434, PCGS MS-65 Plus;
  • 1854-O Arrows At Date, Huge O Mintmark, Seated Liberty quarter dollar, PCGS AU-55;
  • Justh & Hunter 51.78-ounce, 889 fine gold bar. It was stamped by the Gold Rush-era assayers with its value at the time of creation, $951.57. Its current value is estimated at between $150,000 and $200,000.

The SS Central America was a 280-foot long, three-masted side-wheel steamship carrying what Life magazine later called "The Greatest Treasure Ever Found," tons of California Gold Rush-era gold coins and assayers’ ingots. She sank in a hurricane about 150 miles off the North Carolina coast in September 1857.

The Goldberg’s Pre-Long Beach auction will be conducted June 26-29 with the SS Central America coins offered as lots number 747 through 764 in the June 27 session. The entire auction catalog with lot descriptions and color photographs can be found online at https://auctions.goldbergcoins.com/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/92. Printed copies of the catalog are available for $15 each postpaid.

For additional information, contact Goldberg Coins & Collectibles at 310-551-2646, by email at info@GoldbergCoins.com, or visit online at https://GoldbergCoins.com.

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Antonio

Nice ones.

Rich

…sono buoni

Kaiser Wilhelm

I’m kidding here (I think), but as it appears there is a seemingly endless array of coins from that fabled wreck arriving on the market one may perhaps be forgiven for wondering whether or not all these treasures are indeed of identical origin.

Last edited 10 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
East Coast Guru

I agree Kaiser, they keep showing up. Are they finding more from the ship or are these coins just now coming out of “ approved cleaning” process? The seated Liberty looks cleaned in the photo.

Rich

These coins continue to be brought out and sold over the past 25 years. According to PCGS, over 7,000 gold coins were recovered from the S.S. Central America during the shipwreck’s discovery in 1988, exactly 131 years after its last voyage. California Gold Marketing Group (CGMG) is the owner of the second round of treasure recovered from the shipwreck in 2014… The first batch of coins that was recovered and conserved was graded by PCGS in the late 1990s and consisted mostly of 1856-S and 1857-S $20 Liberties. The second batch consists of about 3,100 coins including additional 1857-S $20’s… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Rich
Kaiser Wilhelm

Thanks as always, Good Sir Rich, for so conscientiously filling in the blanks, up to and including ones I wasn’t even aware existed. And danke schoen to East Coat Guru for a rather interesting question.

Last edited 9 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Antonio

I have an 1840 quarter dollar in MS55. These coins are just too new for me. LOL.

Kaiser Wilhelm

I suspect those brazenly modern coins of the 1860’s and later are primarily of interest to the young whippersnappers among us.