Shipwreck Gold at Silver.com
Gold remains the favored precious metal of investors and collectors. When it comes to gold with historical value, gold recovered from shipwrecks like that of the S.S. Central America is not only a great value based on the price of gold today, but also for the historical significance of the individual pieces. Silver.com is proud to offer our customers the chance to purchase shipwreck gold when specimens are in stock.
America’s Ship of Gold
The S.S. Central America took off from the port city of Colon in Panama on September 3, 1857, with some 30,000 pounds of gold on board. The ship was headed for New York City carrying gold from the California Gold Rush that had been cast into gold ingots by Kellogg & Humbert Assayers in San Francisco and struck as Gold US Eagle denominations by the San Francisco Mint. After making a port call in Havana, Cuba, the S.S. Central America steamed northward along the US East Coast toward New York City.
On September 9, 1857, the S.S. Central America steamed into a category 2 hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas. After water swamped its boilers and disabled the engines, the S.S. Central America was doomed. Two days later, the ship eventually sunk and took 425 passengers down to the depths of the ocean. Along with the human lives lost, the S.S. Central America took all of its gold down with it. Based on 1857 valuations of gold, the amount on board was worth $8 million. That translates to roughly $625 million based on gold prices in 2021.
In September 1988, after more than 130 years on the ocean’s floor, some of the lost gold from the S.S. Central America began to emerge from more than 7,000 feet beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The ship had been discovered in 1988 and the initial discovery crew began recovering gold from the wreckage using remotely operated vehicles. Recovery of gold from the wreck continues in the 21st century.
Shipwreck Gold from the S.S. Central America
There are various forms of gold that have been salvaged from the wreck of the S.S. Central America and other famous gold shipwrecks. In the case of the S.S. Central America, there are three major types of gold that were aboard the vessel. These include:
- Gold ingots: One of the major forms of gold bullion aboard the S.S. Central America, when it went down, was gold ingots. Most of these ingots were assayed by Kellogg & Humbert Assayers in San Francisco and stamped with markings that included the weight, purity, serial number, and 1857 face value of the gold.
- Gold coins: Another of the most common forms of gold bullion on the S.S. Central America was Gold $20 Double Eagle. Thousands of these coins, freshly minted by the San Francisco Mint, were aboard the ship when it went down in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Gold flakes: Yet another version of gold aboard the S.S. Central America was simple gold flakes. Packaged now as Double Gold Pinch, these gold flakes harken back to an era when miners and gold panners would come into boomtowns and pay for goods, booze, and other services with a “pinch” of gold flakes.
Collecting Shipwreck Gold at Silver.com
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