Rare Coins from the SS Central America Shipwreck to be Auctioned

2019-06-24 Mon

Heritage would be organising the official auctions during the Summer FUN show, that’s scheduled to take place from 11th to 13th July at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando. Several gold coins are continuously being recovered from the SS Central America shipwreck and some of them will be offered during the auction. One of the highlights is an Indian Head $3 gold coin issued in 1857-S, graded PCGS MS 61. The coin along with a pinch of gold dust recovered from the treasure comes in a separate section of the slab. The signature of the chief scientist of the recovery team, Bob Evans, is featured on the back side of the holder, which certifies that both the items are from the SS Central America.

Most of the coins discovered are Coronet double eagles issued in 1857-S while some were 1857-S Indian Head $3 coins. In 1988, Gold specialist David Akers noted that there are no such $3 coins in MS condition. Today, only 11 such coins are certified in MS grades by PCGS and NGC, and a majority of them belong to the shipwreck. The finest of all, graded PCGS MS-64, was sold for $76,375 in February 2016 during the D. Brent Pogue auction.

A total of 14,250 such coins were minted at the San Francisco Mint in 1857 and most of them were circulated. However, the offered example still features the original semi-reflective surface on the obverse. The reverse is lightly frosted across its smooth fields. Light, hair-thin abrasions and some small marks can be seen on both sides.

A Capped Bust Half Dollar issued in 1818, graded NGC Proof 62 is another exciting offering. Only three such Proofs of the Overton 107 variety in Al C exist. An NGC Proof 65 example was sold for $61,687.50 on 30th September 2015 by Pogue II auction. Like this example, the offered coin also has an early die state with a bulge at the top of the obverse bust. This was caused when Philadelphia Mint workers tried to remove two lines on the left-hand side of the digit 1 in the date. The same bulge is seen in later coins for circulation. The offered coin has a blue tinge, sharp designs, mirrored fields and surfaces without any marks. Light vertical hairlines can be seen on both sides.

Image Courtesy: Heritage Auctions