If you will be in the Los Angeles area between February 22nd and 24th, 2018, you will be able to see gold coins, bars and dust that had been at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for over 150 years. The public will be able to see over $50,000,000 of gold that was originally on the SS Central America in 1857.
You can click on the link at the bottom of this article for more information about the SS Central America, but he is a brief synopsis. With gold discovered in California, the US mint opened a new branch in San Francisco in 1854, to make gold coins and bars. To get gold to Eastern banks, coins, bars and dust were put on a ship. The ship sailed to Panama where the gold was moved across the short isthmus, and put on a second ship, the SS Central America, bound for the East Coast of the United States. On September 9, 1857, the ship met up with a hurricane of the coast of the Carolinas. The ship would eventually sink with only 153 passengers surviving. Of course, the gold sunk with the ship. With no gold reaching land, the country would go through a great panic.
The wreckage was first discovered by Tommy Thompson in 1988. He was able to get a group of investors to give him millions of dollars to search for the Central America. When it was discovered what Thompson was doing, insurance companies who claimed to insure the coins before the ship sank tried to sue him. However, Thompson and his investors won the case, but when the investors received nothing, they sued Thompson. Thompson would flee to Florida when the court tried to issue him a warrant when he didn’t appear. They finally caught up to him in 2015.
Chief scientist of the 1988 voyage, Bob Evans, has been cleaning all of the gold in preparation of it being displayed. Beginning on February 22nd, the gold will be displayed to the public at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. There had been 3,100 gold coins, 45 gold bars and over 80 pounds of gold dust discovered from the wreckage. Supposedly, all of the gold will be for sale, but don’t expect it to go cheap. Based on being underwater for over 150 years and the coins rarity, they could possibly go for $1,000,000 each.
We think about getting a rare 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent or 1916-D Mercury Dime, but imagine getting one of these 1857 Gold Coins from the Central America. It would be the ultimate coin for your collection. I wish I could go, but if you have a chance, get to Long Beach and see a rare piece of American history.