Special Product Marking 50 Years of Proof Coin Production at the San Francisco Mint Available on July 23

WASHINGTON –The United States Mint (Mint) will begin accepting orders for the 2018 San Francisco Mint Silver Reverse Proof Set (product code 18XC) on July 23 at noon EDT. The Mint is issuing this set to mark the 50th anniversary of proof coin production at the San Francisco Mint.

This two-lens set contains 10 coins—all with a reverse proof finish—from the United States Mint at San Francisco. The set includes the following 2018-dated coins:

  • Five silver America the Beautiful Quarters® Program Coins with reverse proof finishes honoring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Michigan), Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wisconsin), Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota), Cumberland Island National Seashore (Georgia), and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge (Rhode Island).
  • One Native American $1 Coin with a reverse theme that commemorates the contributions of Jim Thorpe to American sports and culture. The design depicts Jim Thorpe, while the foreground highlights his achievements in football and as an Olympian. Inscriptions are “JIM THORPE,” “WA-THO-HUK,” (Thorpe’s native name), “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” and “$1.”
  • One silver Kennedy half dollar
  • One silver Roosevelt dime
  • One Jefferson nickel
  • One Lincoln penny

The half dollar, quarters, and dime are minted in 90 percent silver. Each set comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

The Mint priced the 2018 San Francisco Mint Silver Reverse Proof Set at $54.95. The bureau accepts orders at catalog.usmint.gov/ and 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1-888-321-MINT. Visit catalog.usmint.gov/customer-service/shipping.html for information about shipping options.

Orders are limited to ten sets per household across all sales channels, including bulk purchases, for the first 24 hours of sales after which the Mint will remove the limit. The maximum mintage is 200,000 units.

Glittering World Rarities Revealed In Recovered SS Central America Treasure

The finest known Australian 1855 Sydney Mint gold Sovereign, made during the first year of that mint’s operations, was discovered during the last expedition to the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the SS Central America, that sank while sailing to New York City in 1857.

Now graded PCGS MS62+, it is one of 82 sunken treasure world gold coins representing 10 different countries retrieved in 2014, recently cataloged by the California Gold Marketing Group and now certified by Professional Coin Grading Service.

“The 1855 Sydney Sovereign is the equivalent of the U.S. 1854-S Half Eagle; both ‘S’ mints, both first year of striking. It’s an amazing discovery,” stated Dwight Manley, managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group. He compared the rarity and historical significance of the recovered Australian coin to one of only four known surviving 1854 $5 denomination gold coins made during the San Francisco Mint’s first year.

The finest known 1855 Sydney Mint Australian Sovereign, now graded PCGS MS62+, was discovered recently among the coins recovered in 2014 from the SS Central America.
(Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service www.PCGS.com)

“An 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign, now graded PCGS AU58 and even rarer than the 1855, also was found. Someone apparently traveled from Australia to the San Francisco area with the 1855 and 1856 gold coins,” Manley revealed.

“It is fascinating to think about how these coins got to San Francisco. Were they carried by an Aussie miner seeking his fortune during the California Gold Rush or acquired as winnings in a gold camp poker game? Those two coins were onboard when the SS Central America went down 161 years ago,” said Manley.

“The two Australian coins were found in the same area of the seabed more than 7,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Carolinas,” explained Bob Evans. He was the chief scientist on the 1980’s missions that first located and recovered a portion of the fabulous SS Central America treasure and then assisted with the 2014 recovery.

“Communication, commerce, and travel between California and Australia were fully developed during the 1850s, in spite of the 7,500-mile steamship voyage required. The Australian Gold Rush that started in 1851 attracted a diverse, multi-national throng, quickly changing the demographics of the former penal colony. Many among the international crowd of gold-seekers visited both Australia and California seeking their fortunes,” explained Evans.

The vast majority of the more than 3,000 gold coins recovered in 2014 were struck in the United States. But the retrieved world gold coins represent an interesting mix of Latin American and European coinage in addition to the two Australian gold pieces.

Here are the countries and the number of recovered coins from each: Australia (2 coins); Bolivia (1); Federal Republic of Central America (1); Costa Rica (3); France (20); Great Britain (41); Mexico (5 including 3 contemporary counterfeits), Netherlands (6); Peru (2); and Spain (1).

Among the other notable world coins recovered in 2014 and now cataloged are: Great Britain 1852 Queen Victoria Sovereign with Arabic 1, PCGS MS63+; Great Britain 1855 Queen Victoria Sovereign, PCGS MS62; and two Great Britain 1856 Queen Victoria Sovereigns, one graded PCGS MS62, the other PCGS MS61.

Among the 82 world gold coins recently cataloged from the 2014 recovery of sunken treasure from the SS Central America was this Great Britain 1852 Queen Victoria Sovereign with Arabic 1, now graded PCGS MS63+.
(Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service www.PCGS.com)

Also now certified are Costa Rica 1855 JB 1/2 Escudo, PCGS MS63; France 1854-A Napoleon III 5 Francs, PCGS MS61 and France 1855-A Napoleon III 20 Francs, PCGS MS61; Mexico 1852-Go 8 Escudos, PCGS MS61; Netherlands 1840 (u) King Willem I 10 Gulden, PCGS MS63+; and Spain King Ferdinand VII 1809-S Draped Bust 2 Escudos, PCGS AU50, the oldest-dated gold piece recovered from the famous ship.

“It’s kismet that one of the recovered coins from the SS Central America, an 1835 2 Escudos, was from the Central America Republic,” said Manley.

The Federal Republic of Central America was a sovereign state between 1823 and 1841 comprising at times part of what is now Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, southern Mexico and Nicaragua.

Each of the PCGS-certified world coins now is encapsulated in specially-produced and labeled holders that contain a pinch of recovered SS Central America gold dust in a separate compartment. The insert label includes a statement of authenticity hand-signed by Evans.

In the coming weeks, additional highlights of the recently examined and certified treasure will be revealed. A complete inventory of U.S. and world coins and assayers’ ingots recovered in 2014 will be listed in an upcoming book, America’s Greatest Treasure Ship: The SS Central America, The Second Journey, by Q. David Bowers and Manley. It will be published by the California Gold Marketing Group later this year.

Why were there dozens of world coins on the ship? Bowers explained: “In San Francisco in 1857 all sorts of foreign gold coins were legal tender. Back then, the Australian Sovereigns and the other recovered gold coins were not of any particular notice or importance, but today they are numismatic treasures!”

The SS Central America was a 280-foot long, three-masted side-wheel steamship carrying tons of California gold that had been shipped from San Francisco to Panama when she sank in a September 1857 hurricane during a voyage from Aspinwall (now Colón), Panama to New York City. The loss of the gold cargo was a major factor in the economically devastating financial panic of 1857 in the United States.

The California Gold Marketing Group LLC of Brea, California acquired the 2014 treasure from Ira Owen Kane, Receiver for Recovery Limited Partnership and Columbus Exploration, LLC in a court-approved transaction in November 2017. In 1999, the group acquired all of the available treasure that was recovered in the 1980s.

NGC Signs American Astronaut Clayton Anderson to Autograph Labels

NGC has announced that American astronaut Clayton Anderson will individually autograph NGC certification labels. From 2007 to 2010, Anderson was a part of three Space Shuttle missions and two consecutive International Space Station expeditions.

Anderson first rocketed to space aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on June 8, 2007, and he stayed for five months, with most of his time spent aboard the International Space Station as part of Expeditions 15 and 16. He is the only Nebraskan to have flown in space, with 167 days in space total and six spacewalks. Now 59 and retired from NASA, he is the author of three books, including “The Ordinary Spaceman: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut.”

NGC Clayton Anderson Authentic Hand-Signed Labels are the perfect complement to any space- or Americana-themed numismatic item, including the 1971–1978 Eisenhower Dollar series (whose reverse shows an eagle landing on the moon to celebrate America’s achievements in space); the 2004 Florida State Quarter (whose reverse shows a NASA space shuttle); the 1988-P Young Astronauts Shuttle and Flag Medal; and the American Silver, Gold and Platinum Eagles.

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Fun and Fellowship at the Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money

Member receptions and social events complement the American Numismatic Association’s educational programs with networking functions and other fun-filled activities. The Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money is the perfect venue to socialize and network with fellow hobbyists and connect in a fun and friendly atmosphere. The ANA welcomes members to the following Philadelphia social events:

Kick-Off Event

When—Tuesday, August 14, starts at 7 p.m.

Where—The Museum of the American Revolution

Join the American Numismatic Association for a special Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money kick-off event! The Museum of the American Revolution brings to life the events, people and ideals of our nation’s founding. Through Revolutionary-era artifacts, immersive environments, theater experiences and recreated historical moments, you’ll experience the dynamic story of the American Revolution from its origins to ultimate victory and its continuing relevance. Tickets are priced at $50 per person. Included is round-trip shuttle transportation from the convention center, light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Space is limited, so register now.

Sundman Luncheon

When—Wednesday, August 15, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Where— Room 126A at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

Enjoy a catered, gourmet luncheon with the lecturers. Attendees may choose from roasted chicken breast, grilled skirt steak, or a vegetarian option. Preceding the luncheon, guests can enjoy four lectures beginning at 10 a.m. in room 121B that highlight the Founding Father’s role in shaping U.S. money, with the theme “Fugio to Franklins: The Influence of Poor Richard.” The luncheon is $15 per person and is underwritten by Maynard Sundman/Littleton Coin Co. Lecture Series Endowment and David Sundman. Registration closes July 27.

Member and Awards Celebration

When—Thursday, August 16, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Where—Room 126A at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

The always-popular ANA member and donor reception recognizes 25-, 50-, 60- and 75-year members, lead donors, Dealer Booster of the Year, John and Nancy Wilson Member Booster Award, Century Club awards and service awards. This is a great event for members to meet new friends and catch up with old acquaintances. There is no cost to attend.

Legacy Series

When—Thursday, August 16, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Where—Room 126B at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

Take the opportunity to get acquainted with the legends in numismatics, celebrating their lives and contributions to the hobby. This year, enjoy a conversation with California coin dealers Ira and Larry Goldberg, who have been members of the ANA for over 50 years.

ANA 127th Anniversary Banquet and Silent Auction

When—Friday, August 17, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Where—Liberty Ballroom at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown

The fellowship gala of the year, the annual ANA Banquet includes a cocktail hour for mixing and mingling, a three-course dinner, presentation of ANA awards, and recognition of 50-year members. Tickets are priced at $110. A Silent Auction during the banquet raises funds to underwrite full and partial scholarships to the ANA’s Summer Seminar. Banquet registration closes July 27.

Philadelphia Mint Tours

When—Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Entrance closes at 4:15 p.m.

Where—151 N. Independence Mall East, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Mint offers tours of the facility, which cover the present state of coin manufacturing and the history of the Mint. Visitors learn about the craftsmanship required at all stages of the minting process, from the original designs and sculptures to the actual striking of the coins. All tours are free and self-guided and take approximately 45 minutes to complete. No reservations are necessary. For complete tour information, call (215) 408-0112.

To register for the upcoming social events, visit www.worldsfairofmoney.com or call 800-514-2646 for more information.

The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its 25,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational and outreach programs as well as its museum, library, publications, and conventions. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit www.money.org.

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