US Coins

Silver coins, gold dust from shipwreck treasure to be auctioned

Silver coins and gold dust from among treasure recovered in 2014 from the wreck of the SS Central America will be offered for the first time at public auction in September by Ira & Larry Goldberg, Auctioneers.

The auction will be conducted in Los Angeles, Sept. 13 and 14 as well as online.

Among the highlights from the sale is an 1856-S/S Seated Liberty, No Motto, Large S Over Small S quarter dollar, graded Extremely Fine 45 by Professional Coin Grading Service.

According to Dwight Manley, managing partner for the California Gold Marketing Group that owns the treasure being offered, the new repunched Mint mark discovery was located in a canvas bag that had rested in the purser’s sealed iron box in the ship’s safe, on the seabed more than 7,000 feet below the Atlantic Ocean’s surface.

Another silver coin rarity being offered is an 1856-S Seated Liberty dime, graded PCGS Mint State 65 and stickered by Certified Acceptance Corp. for its quality, is tied for the finest known example for the date and Mint mark of the denomination.

Another offering is an 1854-O Seated Liberty, With Arrows, Huge O quarter dollar certified PCGS About Uncirculated 55, CAC.

The sale will include 88 hand-numbered and -signed grand format, 5½-inch by 9-inch PCGS holders, each housing 5 ounces of California Gold Rush sunken treasure gold dust recovered from the SS Central America.

The label inserts are signed by Bob Evans, chief scientist for the treasure recovery, and Q. David Bowers, SS Central America historian, author and a partner in the California Gold Marketing Group, which owns the treasure being offered.

All the PCGS-certified treasure coins in the auction are housed in special encapsulation holders that include a pinch of miner’s gold dust also retrieved during the last recovery mission to the ship in 2014.

“This gold dust was originally discovered by 49ers during the heydays of the California Gold Rush and untouched in the miners’ gold field packets for more than 160 years,” Manley said. “When it was recovered from the S.S. Central America the gold dust was still sealed in the miners’ original pokes, the satchels and pouches made of buckskin, canvas or leather.”

The SS Central America sank Sept. 12, 1857, during a hurricane roughly 200 miles off the Carolina coast.

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