SS Central America wreck yields more gold during April 15 ROV reconnaissance

Salvors find ingots, coins during two-hour dive
By , Coin World
Published : 05/09/14
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After remaining undisturbed for more than 20 years, the site of the 1857 shipwreck SS Central America off the Carolina coast is starting to yield gold treasure once again.

During a two-hour reconnaissance dive April 15, Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., based in Tampa, Fla., retrieved two 19th century Coronet gold $20 double eagles and seven assay ingots fabricated from gold from the California Gold Rush.

The bars range in weight from 96.5 to 313.5 troy ounces, in varying fineness.

The gold melt value alone for the recovered items totals more than $1.2 million. The market value is likely going to be many multiples of that figure, based on prices received for similar items previously salvaged and sold into the collector market.

Some ingots recovered in the earlier salvage operations, by Columbus-America Discovery Group between 1988 and 1991, have individually sold in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Adam Crum, vice president at Monaco Rare Coins in Newport Beach, Calif., said May 7 that he is thrilled at the opportunities that await marketing any of the new treasure recovered by Odyssey Exploration from the wreck site.

“I wish I had some bars to sell,” Crum said.

Monaco, starting in the early 2000s, conducted extensive marketing in selling some of the bars and coins that were recovered from the wreck site between 1988 and 1991. 

Crum confirmed Monaco has bought and sold many of the gold bars more than once since they first became available for sale.

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