Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More Gold Found at The Site of the SS Central America

I can already bet that someone is already starting to write the "Return to the SS Central America" - The shipwreck that keep giving!  

Austin Rare Coins Offers Shipwrecked Gold
What makes this shipwreck so important to rare coin collectors are the extremely high quality, Pre-Civil War, $20 Liberty Gold coins that are now available.

It is with great pleasure that Austin Rare Coins can offer a few of the highly prized Gold coins from the S.S. Central America shipwreck. You can call a one of our Rare Coin Specialists to place your reservations or find some coins already available to purchase today.  Check our inventory here.

The 251’ Odyssey Explorer serves as Odyssey's
principal state-of-the-art deep-ocean archaeological
platform (Odyssey Facebook Photo)
It seems like a blockbuster sequel and this time it is the Odyssey Marine Exploration that is on their first reconnaissance mission in decades.  They've been exploring the shipwreck site since April 15 and yesterday on Cinco De Mayo, 2014 announced they have recovered nearly 1,000 ounces of gold on their first reconnaissance dive.  

"According to the firm's press release, the gold recovered included five gold ingots and two Coronet $20 double eagles. One dated 1850 and another dated 1857-S. "

Odyssey's remotely operated vehicle (ROV) ZEUS
returns to the surface following work on a deep-ocean
shipwreck site. (
Odyssey Facebook Photo)
Unlike the exploration by the Columbus-America Discover Group of Ohio led by Tommy Thompson, who basically took the money and ran without giving the exploration team and investors their cut, the Odyssey will receive "80% of recovery proceeds until a fixed mobilization fee and a negotiated day rate are paid."  Once that is taken care of, they will divvy up the remaining 45%.

J. Childs, Painting of the sinking of the Central America,
1857. Source: National Maritime Museum, London.
The SS Central America shipwreck was first found in 1987 at a depth of approximately 7,200 feet and less than 5% of the site was investigated. The current exploration should uncover much more since the tools and techniques for extensive archaeological excavation have vastly improved since 1987. 

Greg Stemm, the CEO of Odyssey has ambitious goals of targeting "one or more shipwreck cargo recoveries each year totaling at least $50 million annually." The addition of the SS Central America should prove to be a rewarding endeavor, to say the least!    

The 1857 SS Central America Shipwreck - "Ship of Gold"

On September 11, 1857 the Central America sank in a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. It was one of the worst peacetime tragedies of not only lives, but also tons of Gold which were thought to be lost forever.

Amazingly, on September 11, 1988, exactly to the day 133 years later, the S.S. Central America was located by the Columbus-America Discover Group of Ohio led by Tommy Thompson. It took another year for some of the Ship of Gold's cargo of San Francisco Gold coins to finally be retrieved from the bottom of the ocean. Estimates of how much gold was on the ship when it went down have ranged as high as 10 tons. 

It wasn't an easy task retrieving the Gold and it was even harder to keep the treasure that they found. Thirty-nine insurance companies filed law suits to be re-paid the damages lost to insure the ship. To make matters even worse Thompson, who sold salvaged gold bars and coins to a California mint for $52 million before going on the lam, remains a wanted man after failing to appear in an Ohio court in 2012. The 62-year-old seasoned sailor and diver is accused of cheating his team of nine technicians of at least $2 million, and they have been fighting for their cut.  No one can find Thompson, but the U.S. marshals are eagerly looking to do it. 

Now "a contract has been awarded to Odyssey Marine Exploration, which is allowed to conduct more archeological recovery and conservation of the remaining shipwreck." [1]

According to Coin World 
the "Odyssey Marine Exploration announced on May 5, 2014, that it has recovered nearly 1,000 ounces of Gold during the first reconnaissance dive to the SS Central America shipwreck site on April 15. According to the firm's press release, the gold recovered included five gold ingots and two Coronet $20 double eagles. One dated 1850 and another dated 1857-S." [2}

Now, some 157 years later, you can own an authentic, historic piece of California Gold Rush history with these Shipwreck Gold Coins and Shipwreck Silver Coins. 

Click Here to see current inventory.

  1. www.columbia.edu/SS_Central_America
  2. www.coinworld.com/news/more-gold-emerges-from-ss-central-america-shipwreck-site