US Coins

Latest SS Central America coins come to market

The first of the treasure recovered from the SS Central America in 2014 is now on sale.

Universal Coin & Bullion in Beaumont, Texas, and Blanchard and Company Inc. in New Orleans, are the exclusive primary distributors for the first 1,000 U.S. gold coins curated, graded and encapsulated from treasure salvaged four years ago from the 1857 wreck of the SS Central America.

Marketer Dwight Manley said the first coins offered reflect a third of the 3,150 gold coins recovered. Also recovered were 45 pioneer gold ingots, and more than 10,000 silver coins.

Manley is managing partner for the California Gold Marketing Group, which purchased the gold and silver coins, gold ingots, dust and nuggets recovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration in a court-approved transaction for $30 million.

All of the coins are being curated by the salvage expedition’s chief scientist Robert Evans, who is using a proprietary solution and process to remove encrustration from the coins’ surfaces before the coins are graded and encapsulated by Professional Coin Grading Service.

Manley said the ingots and the contents of unopened pokes won’t be marketed until sometime after the Ship of Gold traveling exhibit featuring the items is displayed at Universal Coin & Bullion’s booth May 3 to 6 in Dallas during the National Rifle Association convention.

The head of one of the firms now selling the coins and pinches commented on the treasure.

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“I have examined many of these coins, holdered and unholdered, and am the only dealer selling pinches of gold in PCGS holders that contain an amount of gold about equal to a California 50-cent gold piece according to Bob Evans,” says Universal Coin’s Mike Fuljenz.

In these first offerings, the oversized PCGS holders in which the curated coins are encapsulated also include a capsuled enclosure containing about two-thirds of a gram of gold dust. The full-color grading label depicts a rendering of the SS Central America being violently tossed in the turbulent waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The ship sank during a hurricane in 1857.

Evans, as chief scientist, has signed the back of each label, attesting to the gold coin and dust having been recovered from the shipwreck. 

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