Historic items from legendary “Ship of Gold” that sank in 1857 include Wells Fargo treasure shipment box remnants, gold miner’s jeans, and a mysterious “Mona Lisa of the Deep” photograph
June 22, 2022 — After a century and a half on the ocean floor and then decades in secure storage, dozens of historic California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure artifacts from the 1857 sinking of the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the S.S. Central America, will be displayed at the Chicago World’s Fair of Money®. The exhibit is jointly hosted by California Gold Marketing Group and Holabird Western Americana Collections at booth #1926.
Visitors will also see the first public display of the remotely operated vehicle nicknamed “Nemo” that was used by scientists and engineers to locate and recover the SS Central America treasures deep on the Atlantic Ocean seabed four decades ago. The six-ton submersible has been stored in an Ohio warehouse since 1991 and will be transported to the convention.
“Among the notable, recovered items that will be exhibited are a unique lid to the remnants of the oldest known Wells Fargo treasure shipment box; a pair of the oldest known San Francisco Gold Rush canvas jeans with a button fly that may have been made by Levi Strauss in his early years in business; and jewelry made from California Gold Rush ‘mother lode’ native gold in quartz as gemstones,” said exhibitor Fred Holabird, president Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC (www.HolabirdAmericana.com) of Reno, Nevada.
Insured for $1 million for this display, the jeans were discovered in a trunk belonging to passenger John Dement who survived the tragic sinking.
The S.S. Central America sank 7,200 feet deep in the Atlantic Ocean off the North Carolina coast during a hurricane on September 12, 1857. She was on a voyage from Panama to New York carrying tons of California Gold Rush coins, ingots, and gold dust from the San Francisco and Northern California area. The tragedy took the lives of 425 of the ship’s 578 passengers and crew members, and the loss of the gold cargo was a major factor in the economically devastating financial panic of 1857 in the United States.
Also in the display is a 19th-century daguerreotype metal plate photograph of an unidentified young woman that the scientific mission recovery team nicknamed, “Mona Lisa of the Deep,” after retrieving the photo in 2014 from the seabed where it was discovered in a scattered pile of the ship’s coal.
The exhibit also includes the Central America brass name tag attached to a set of keys that belonged to the ship’s purser, Edward W. Hull.
“Because these keys are larger than the type usually used for passengers’ rooms, we think these purser’s keys were for the locked room where the gold treasure cargo was kept on the ship,” said Holabird.
“These incredible artifacts that were kept in secure storage in three different states since the 1980s are now giving us a glimpse of daily life for passengers and crew in the 1850s. They are a time capsule from the California Gold Rush,” said Dwight Manley, Managing Partner of the California Gold Marketing Group of Brea, California which owns the recovered items.
These items are among nearly 1,000 recovered artifacts from the Central America that Manley and his group consigned to Holabird for auctions planned for later this year.
Recovery from the undersea site of what has been described as “America’s greatest treasure” occurred in several stages between 1988-1991 and again in 2014. Thousands of retrieved gold coins and hundreds of gold bars have been sold since 2000; however, these latest items were kept in storage in three different states, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Ohio, until a court-approved settlement was reached ending a decades-long ownership dispute.
“Seemingly ordinary items from the passengers and crew today give us extraordinary insight into the everyday lives of the people who traveled on the steamship,” said scientist Bob Evans who was on each of the recovery missions.
Conducted by the American Numismatic Association (www.money.org), the 2022 Chicago World’s Fair of Money (www.WorldsFairofMoney.com) will be held August 16-20 at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Hall F, 5555 N. River Rd., in Rosemont, Illinois.
First-time offerings of California Fractionals and other important items recovered from the legendary “Ship of Gold”
(Los Angeles, California) June 20, 2022 – California Gold Rush-era treasures recovered from the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the SS Central America that sank in 1857, will be offered for the first time in the Pre-Long Beach auction by Goldberg Coins & Collectibles (www.GoldbergCoins.com) on June 27, 2022.
The auction includes 15 of the finest condition California Fractional Gold coins offered to date from the legendary sunken treasure, a 51.78-ounce Justh & Hunter assayer’s gold ingot. and one of the finest known surviving 1854 New Orleans Mint Seated Liberty quarter dollars that was retrieved from the purser’s safe on the ship.
“The SS Central America is a time capsule of the California Gold Rush. Each of the treasure coins in the auction is housed in a special PCGS holder containing gold dust from miners’ pokes that were also recovered from about 7,200 feet below the Atlantic Ocean’s surface,” explained Larry Goldberg, co-owner of Goldberg Coins & Collectibles in Los Angeles.
“The California Fractionals being offered for the first are the finest quality coins released to date from the 103 found during the 2014 recovery mission. There are some beautiful gems and prooflikes,” said Dwight Manley, managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group which consigned the sunken treasure items to the auction.
Highlights of the auction session include:
- 1856 Octagonal Liberty gold half dollar, Breen and Gillio-311, graded PCGS MS-66 PL;
- 1856 Round Liberty Head gold half dollar, Breen and Gillio-434, PCGS MS-65 Plus;
- 1854-O Arrows At Date, Huge O Mintmark, Seated Liberty quarter dollar, PCGS AU-55;
- Justh & Hunter 51.78-ounce, 889 fine gold bar. It was stamped by the Gold Rush-era assayers with its value at the time of creation, $951.57. Its current value is estimated at between $150,000 and $200,000.
The SS Central America was a 280-foot long, three-masted side-wheel steamship carrying what Life magazine later called “The Greatest Treasure Ever Found,” tons of California Gold Rush-era gold coins and assayers’ ingots. She sank in a hurricane about 150 miles off the North Carolina coast in September 1857.
The Goldberg’s Pre-Long Beach auction will be conducted June 26-29 with the SS Central America coins offered as lots number 747 through 764 in the June 27 session. The entire auction catalog with lot descriptions and color photographs can be found online at https://auctions.goldbergcoins.com/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/92. Printed copies of the catalog are available for $15 each postpaid.
With a storied history that dates back to 1930, the Commonwealth Games is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Sandwiched neatly in between summer Olympic years, the quadrennial event has long established itself as a true hub of athletic excellence, covering a wide array of action-packed sports and featuring the very best athletes from across the Commonwealth.
This year, the Commonwealth Games returns to England for only the third time in its history and will emanate from the city of Birmingham for the very first time. The motto for Birmingham 2022 is ‘Games for Everyone’, with a conscious focus on inclusivity – a stance that is backed by the largest female and para-sport programme in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
The Royal Mint is proud to celebrate the Commonwealth Games and its incredible 92-year legacy with a UK 50p coin dedicated to Birmingham 2022. Featuring a bespoke reverse design by The Royal Mint’s own Natasha Preece, this coin captures the essence of the Commonwealth Games through the striking geometric patterns associated with Birmingham 2022.
- Celebrating the first Commonwealth Games held in England for 20 years
- Features a design that cleverly incorporates the unmistakable geometric patterns of Birmingham Library
- Year-dated 2022 commemorating the historic 22nd Commonwealth Games
- The perfect memento to celebrate the very first Games held in Birmingham
- Collaboratively developed with Birmingham 2022 and each home nation’s respective team.
WASHINGTON – The 2022 United States Mint (Mint) Silver Proof Set will be available for purchase starting on June 23 at noon EDT. This year’s set includes the first five coins in the American Women Quarters™ Program, the four-year series that celebrates the accomplishments and contributions made by women to the development and history of America..
Priced at $105.00, the set includes the following 10 San Francisco-minted coins:
- Five American Women Quarters Program Coins with reverse (tails) designs honoring Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong. The obverse (heads) of each coin in this series depicts a portrait of George Washington, originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser as a candidate design for the 1932 quarter, which honored the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “2022.”
- One Native American $1 Coin with a reverse design honoring the contributions of Ely S. Parker of the Tonawanda Seneca, who is depicted in his Army uniform, serving as military secretary to General Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War. During the surrender at Appomattox, Parker rendered formal surrender documents in his own hand. He is shown with a quill pen, book, and likeness of his signature—symbols of his experience as an expert communicator, and his graceful penmanship. The inscriptions “TONAWANDA SENECA” and “HA-SA-NO-AN-DA” recognize his tribe and birth name. Additional inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “$1.” The obverse design retains the central figure Sacagawea carrying her infant son, Jean Baptiste. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.” The year of minting, mint mark, and inscription “E PLURIBUS UNUM” are incused on the edge of the coins.
- One silver Kennedy half dollar
- One silver Roosevelt dime
- One Jefferson nickel
- One Lincoln penny
The quarters, dime, and half dollar are all struck in 99.9 percent fine silver.
For 2022, the new image on the front of the carton features a traditional design in black with a textured background and a close-up of the eagle on the reverse of the half dollar. The images on the back of the carton include photographs of all five 2022 American Women Quarters Program honorees and partial coin images of the obverse of the Kennedy half dollar, Lincoln penny, Jefferson nickel, Roosevelt dime, and Native American $1 Coin. A certificate of authenticity is also included with each set.
To set up a REMIND ME alert for this set, please visit https://catalog.usmint.gov/silver-proof-set-2022-22RH.html (product code 22RH).
The United States Mint Silver Proof Set may also be purchased through the Product Enrollment Program. Enrollments work like a magazine subscription. Sign up once and you will receive the next product released in the series after the date of your registration, then continue to receive products until you end your enrollment. Visit https://catalog.usmint.gov/silver-proof-set-enrollment-MV.html to learn more.
Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, the United States Mint will not accept nor honor orders placed prior to the official on-sale date and time of June 23, 2022, at noon EDT.
Please use the United States Mint catalog site https://catalog.usmint.gov/ as your primary source of the most current information on products and services or call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
WASHINGTON – The United States Mint (Mint) will accept orders for the 2022 American Eagle One Ounce Gold Uncirculated Coin beginning on June 16 at noon EDT. Production is limited to 9,000 coins, and orders are limited to one coin per household for the first 24-hour sales period.
Struck in 22-karat gold, the American Eagle One Ounce Gold Uncirculated Coin is the collector version of the official United States Mint American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin.
After 35 years, the design was updated in 2021, with the reverse (tails) featuring a stunning portrayal of an eagle created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Designer Jennie Norris and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Renata Gordon. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “50 DOLLARS,” and “1 OZ. FINE GOLD.”
The obverse design, also enhanced in 2021, features Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ full-length figure of Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left. Using technical advancements, the United States Mint returned to its historical assets to render a current design that is a closer reflection of Saint-Gaudens’ original vision and detail. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY” and “2022.”
In addition to redesigning the reverse and enhancing the design details on the obverse of the American Eagle Coins, the Mint introduced anti-counterfeiting features that include a reeded edge variation on the one ounce coin.
To complement these designs, each coin is encapsulated and placed in a black presentation case with the United States Mint seal on the lid. The case fits into an outer sleeve incorporating a beautiful gold foil image of Liberty, and the accompanying certificate of authenticity includes artwork of the obverse design.
The American Eagle Gold Uncirculated Coin is priced according to the range in which it appears on the Mint’s Pricing of Numismatic Gold, Commemorative Gold, and Platinum and Palladium Products table. Current pricing information is available here.
To sign up for a REMIND ME alert, please visit https://catalog.usmint.gov/american-eagle-2022-one-ounce-gold-uncirculated-coin-22EH.html (product code 22EH). This product is included in the Numismatic Bulk Purchase Program as well as the Authorized Bulk Purchase Program.
View additional United States Mint American Eagle products at: https://catalog.usmint.gov/coins/coin-programs/american-eagle-coins.