Super-rare Gold Rush-era coins minted in San Francisco found in 1857 wreck


By Katie Dowd
San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, December 6, 2019

Nine rare coins minted in San Francisco are the latest finds from the haul left behind by a shipwreck so massive, its sinking contributed to a U.S. financial panic in the 1800s.

The SS Central America, loaded with 30,000 pounds of gold from San Francisco, was nearly done with its trip to New York when a Category 2 hurricane hit the Atlantic. The ship was badly battered and began taking on water. It sank off the Carolina coast with more than 400 souls on board.

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For over a century, it sat on the ocean floor. In 1988 search and recovery efforts found the shipwreck and its valuable cargo almost entirely intact. Over the years millions of dollars in coins and gold ingots have been salvaged and auctioned.

That salvage effort continues to this day, as the initial 1988 recovery reportedly dredged up and sorted through only a fraction of the ship's wares. Today the California Gold Marketing Group, of Brea, Calif., the current owners of the Central America treasure, announced they've identified nine 1856 silver quarter dollars. The company believes they originate from "a batch of coins brought aboard by a California gold rush-era miner." ...

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