There is no easy answer regarding who owns the gold from the S.S. Central America. The S.S. Central America, also know as the “Ship of Gold,” sank in a hurricane off the cost of the Carolinas with tons of gold from the San Francisco mint. In addition, there were gold coins, ingots, gold dust, and various bullion coins from the California Gold Rush that went down with the ship. In fact, the enormous loss of gold has been described as the greatest economic catastrophe in all of U.S. maritime history.
I took over a 150 years to find the Ship of Gold sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was located by the Columbus-America Discovery Group of Ohio, led by Tommy Gregory Thompson on September 11, 1988. However, the expedition was funded by several investors who had provided $12.5 million in financing. These investors believed they had the right to the treasure. Meanwhile, thirty-nine insurance companies also filed suit believing the gold belonged to them. They claimed that because they paid damages in the 19th century for the lost gold, they had the right to it.
It seemed like everyone wanted a piece of the action. Thompson was sued in 2005 by several of the investors. However, Tommy Thompson disappeared and went into hiding in 2012. A dilemma unfolded as to who owns the gold from the S.S. Central America. The courts made a decision In March 2014. In short, a contract was awarded to Odyssey Marine Exploration to conduct archeological recovery and conservation of what remained on the S.S. Central America.
Subsequently, in 2015 Thompson was finally found by US Marshals agents and was extradited to Ohio. HIs treasure was divvied up to the investors.
Shipwreck U.S. Gold Coins can belong to you
Remarkably, the condition of the coins recovered in the 1857 shipwreck of the S.S. Central America were preserved in pristine condition. This after 150 years under the ocean. Scientists believe that special environmental conditions combined to preserve the treasures from the shipwreck, because of frigid temperatures and a nonexistent current at 8,500 feet below the ocean.
We actually have some coins for sale from the second recovery of the Ship of Gold. Each coin from this exclusive release comes sealed in a specially-designed PCGS holder to protect the intricate details of the coin. In addition, each holder contains a pinch of gold dust recovered from the shipwreck.
Bob Evans, the Chief Scientist and curator of the find, has hand-signed the PCGS grading certificate. Most importantly, each coins is certified that it was indeed an authentic artifact from the recovery effort. Finally, each S.S. Central America Shipwreck $20 Liberty comes in a unique presentation box.
So when someone asks you, “Who owns the gold from the S.S. Central America?” You can say, “I do,” by purchasing a coin that survived and was recovered from this famous ship. You like other gold buyers, investors, and history buffs can own a piece of this fascinating history.