US Coins

SS Central America reveals thousands of new findings

The treasure recovered from the wreckage of the SS Central America from 1988 to 1991 has been widely studied and dispersed in the marketplace. More has been uncovered, and it is a hot story in our June 19 print issue, available now.

Original images courtesy of Odyssey Marine Exploration

It’s a wrap!

The latest Coin World weekly issue, dated June 19, 2017, has been sent to the presses, and we have a quick preview of some of the Coin World exclusives found in our latest digital edition.

New finds from the SS Central America

The treasure recovered from the wreckage of the SS Central America from 1988 to 1991 has been widely studied and dispersed in the marketplace. However, little has been revealed about what was recovered by a second salvor in 2014. California Gold Rush expert Dan Owens shares in a feature what he knows about these latest finds, including coins that were largely absent from the earlier recoveries.

He writes, “A second chapter was added to the numismatic history of the SS Central America when Odyssey Marine Exploration, using advanced scientific salvage methods, recovered an additional 45 California gold assay bars, 1,956 San Francisco Branch Mint gold coins, hundreds of other U.S. gold coins and thousands of U.S. silver coins from the wreck.”


Some surprising half dollar varieties

John Wexler writes in his “Varieties Notebook” column, “I can’t remember the last time that I illustrated a Kennedy half dollar in this column and just like that two of them show up in my inbox. Throw in a Proof Franklin half dollar and it looks like we have the month of the 50-cent piece.”

Among the finds reported by readers were 1964-D and 1971 Kennedy half dollars with doubled die obverses, and a Proof 1961 Franklin half dollar with a doubled die obverse. Wexler shares diagnostics and photos for each variety.


Celebrating a long-running ‘house organ’

Joel Orosz celebrates numismatic “house organs” — not a musical instrument but “a coin dealer’s in-house periodical, offering inventory at fixed prices,” he writes in his “Numismatic Bookie” column. Specifically, he examines Rare Coin Review, published from 1969 to 2003 by firms associated with Q. David Bowers and his business partners. A typical issue would feature in-depth articles written by various numismatists, a question-and-answer column, quizzes, and coins and related items offered at fixed prices.

“Here’s to the memory of 151 Rare Coin Reviews, the sweetest-sounding house organ of them all!” Joel writes.


Jeton’s alphabet is missing a few letters

Gerald Tebben recently added an inexpensive item to his collection. He writes, “The bronze piece didn’t look like much. It was holed and gouged.” And the alphabet on one side totaled just 24 letters, not 26. But it has an interesting story to tell.

The piece is a “jeton,” which “started out as an accounting aid in the 1100s and evolved over time into game pieces.” His new find dates to about 1553, when the letters J and U had not yet been added to the alphabet.

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