How to identify a shipwreck coin

Be careful trying to buy coins that are supposed to be from a famous shipwreck. How to identify a shipwreck coin should be left to the experts. It is hard to determine if a coin is a shipwreck coin just by looking at it. How is the average person supposed to know if a coin was hidden in a shipwreck for over a hundreds of years? Even if a coin is actually from a shipwreck it could be in terrible condition and not worth very much. However, those salvaged in good to excellent condition can be worth a lot of money. Especially, if they are a from a rare date and only a few surviving coins actually exist.

Austin Rare Coins & Bullion is one of the premier shipwreck coin dealers in the United States. They know how to identify a shipwreck coin. In fact, they specialize in high-end shipwreck coins dating back to 1845. Above all, they only deal in shipwreck coins certified and authenticated by NGC or PCGS. These two top coin grading corporations are the best known and trusted in the business. 

The S.S. Central America

Usually, premier shipwreck gold and silver that has been salvaged in good and very good condition come from one of the four major U.S. shipwrecks. For example, the S.S. Central America, otherwise known as “The Ship of Gold” sank off the Carolinas in 1857 in a terrible hurricane. It is probably one of the best known shipwrecks due to the amount of treasure found onboard. 133 years after it sank, the S.S. Central America was located by the Columbus-America Discover Group of Ohio. Thanks to the recent advent of underwater robots, items from this famous shipwrecks were brought to the surface and saved. The newest deep sea recovery technology was utilized to bring up and preserve these historic, National Treasures.

Austin Rare Coins was one of the few companies to offer sunken coin treasure from The S.S. Central America. Moreover, they offer the American public a rare opportunity to acquire a rare shipwreck coin from this important piece of California Gold Rush history. Each coin in 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.

Other Shipwreck Coins

Austin Rare Coins feature gold and and silver shipwrecked coins from other shipwrecks as well. Over the past two decades they’ve handled rare coins from the S.S. Brother Jonathan of 1865, the S.S. Republic of 1865, and the S.S. New York of 1845. All of the coins they handle are original, certified shipwreck recovered coins. It is worthy to note, Austin Rare Coins has been involved with every major shipwreck offering since the 1990s.

If you’re interested in learning more about historically significant shipwreck coinage you should request our Shipwreck Collection Report. Importantly, it will help you how to identify a shipwreck coin. That is to say, it is loaded with U.S. shipwreck history, pictures, and descriptions to give you a solid foundation of knowledge and ideas. In conclusion, if you have questions or need assistance on where to start, just give us a call, we’re happy to help. 1-800-928-6468

Can I buy gold ingots?

Occasionally customers call and ask us, “Can I buy gold ingots?” Many of them are especially interested in gold ingots from the SS Central American Shipwreck. What’s interesting is where these gold ingots came from—The California Gold rush. It was a very fascinating time in American History.

This is when massive fortunes were made and lost. Most importantly, gold remained a testament to this exciting time period. Prospectors were frantic to discover it. They took gold nuggets in rocks to gold dust in rivers. This raw gold was turned into gold coins and bars—called ingots.

The gold was first mined in the California Hills and then taken to private refiners or assayers. They would weigh the gold and estimate its purity. Furthermore, it paid the miners for their hard work. The gold was amassed by the refiners, so the assayers could melt and refine it. As a result, ingots of different weights and sizes were assembled.

Once the San Francisco Mint opened in 1854, the US finally had a reliable means of minting the raw gold locally. They would turn it into US currency. However, until that time, assayers and refiners were the only game in town. One of these refiners, Kellogg and Humbert, was very prominent in the mining community. 

Coins from Kellogg and Humbert still survive to this day. They also made ingots, but for the longest time none were ever found. This all changed when the SS Central America was recovered around the year 2000. There was finally proof that gold ingot bars made by Kellogg and Humbert existed. The question, “Can I buy gold ingots?”, could finally be answered.

The SS Central America

The SS Central America was a steamship that set sail from California headed for the East Coast. It was loaded with thousands of freshly minted gold coins. It also had large amounts of raw gold and gold bars. Unexpectedly, it hit a hurricane in September of 1857. The storm caused it to sink to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. There it would remain hidden with its treasures for nearly 145 years.

When it was finally found researchers were excited to find hundreds of never before seen gold ingots. Below there is a video of one of them that recently sold. It is from the prominent California Assayers Kellogg and Humbert. Their name is carved on the side of the gold bar. Along with the assayer name there is an item number (No. 984). There is also the weight (13.06 oz.). The purity (.891 fine), and the dollar value at the time ($240.54).

So, when someone ask us, “Can I buy gold ingots?” We can honestly say yes. One was just sold to a private Houston collector who dreamt of owning a gold rush ingot his entire life. We were more than happy to find it for him. 

If you’re looking for an authentic Gold Rush treasure call us at 1-800-928-6468. Let our team find exactly what you’re looking for. Austin Rare Coins & Bullion handles premier Shipwreck Gold & Silver Coins recovered from the four most famous shipwrecks in numismatic history. We have made many people’s dreams of owning a piece of history come true. Let us make your dreams come true as well.

Gold Coins from the 1857 Ship of Gold

The SS Central America was also known as the “Ship of Gold.” It operated during the 1850’s transporting freshly mined gold from the California Gold Rush to New York. She did this twice a month until the largest hurricane of the 19th century struck on September 11, 1857.  The ship sank along with 425 souls. Gold Coins from the 1857 Ship of Gold, millions of dollars went into the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The loss of the cargo was so important to the financial market that it caused the Great Financial Panic of 1857.

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