Skip to comments.Shipwreck's Coins Are Very Rare
Posted on 05/14/2008 10:43:27 PM PDT by fishhound
NEW ORLEANS (May 14) - A steamship that sank off the Louisiana coast during an 1846 storm has produced a trove of rare gold coins, including some produced at two largely forgotten U.S. Mints in the South, coin experts say. Last year, four Louisiana residents salvaged hundreds of gold coins and thousands of silver coins from the wreckage of the SS New York in about 60 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico, said David Bowers, co-chairman of New York-based Stack's Rare Coins.
"Some of these are in uncirculated or mint condition," Bowers said, predicting the best could bring $50,000 to $100,000 apiece at auction.
Of particular interest to coin experts are gold pieces known as quarter eagles and half eagles, which carried face values of $2.50 and $5 in the days before the United States printed paper currency.
Those coins were struck at Mints in New Orleans; Charlotte, N.C.; and Dahlonega, Ga. The Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints operated from 1838, when the first significant U.S. gold deposits were found in those areas, until the start of the Civil War in 1861, said Douglas Mudd, curator of the American Numismatic Association's Money Museum in Denver. Neither reopened.
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Good forgotten history stuff.
history stuff ping
Thanks for posting the pic. Ain’t it beautiful!
Wow! What a simple yet striking & lovely design. They don’t make coins like this anymore.
I’ve seen Greek and Egyptian coins from about 230 b.c that had similiar facial characteristics and treatment of the hair. They depicted Alexander the Great. The Greek and Roman classical influence on early American art and design can be seen in this coin.
What are the mintmarks and how rare are they?
On the second picture is I assume the backside of this coin.
I don’t collect but there is an “O” under teh eagles feet...Could that be the mintmark?
Is it possible they did not use them?
The greatness of the promise of the young America shines in thier elegant and simple yet solid design...how’s that. lol
Great Classicism/classical look.
I actually find it makes me a little sad to look at it.
The New Orleans Mint (O mint mark) closed at the beginning of the Civil War (1861) and did not re-open until the end of Reconstruction in 1879. During its two stints as a minting facility, it produced both gold and silver coinage in eleven different denominations, though only ten denominations were ever minted there at one time (in 1851 silver three-cent pieces, half dimes, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and gold dollars, Quarter Eagles, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles).---Wikipedia
Thank you, great post!!!
Yes,The O is for New Orleans from what I remember.I was unaware of Dalonega being a mint.Learn something new everyday.
I thought the New Orleans mint was open until much later. Wasn’t the mint mark ‘O’?
I know I have some old coins with the ‘O’ mint mark.
“O” was New Orleans. I’m not sure about Charlotte, and I never heard of the one in Ga.
Being raised in Georgia, I knew of the Dahlonega mint and the gold that is sill being mined there today. However, I had not heard of the Charlotte mint or of any gold finds in that area.
That was the hurricane that cut “Last Island” (a resort) into several pieces.
C for Charlotte, D for Dahlonega. As for rarity, I would direct you to Yeoman or the equivalent.
I tried to post this yesterday, using the URL for the Lafayette paper story. It was refused by the FR system or monitor because it was also on the AP wire service.
I didn’t use AP anywhere in the heading as you have, how did you get this through?
Thanks fishhound. Think this might be a GGG topic.
Thanks for the ping fishound. I remember several years back, a big storm surged the beaches and folks were finding Spanish dubloons on Melbourne beach in FLA.
I found it on the AOL news site. And posted it as I “AOL/AP” in the source field and it worked.
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Whoops! Thanks fishhound!
I'd imagine he'd be going ballistic over these coins.
Thanks for posting this.
‘topics’ you mean.
Great post. love reading about Shipwrecks and treasure and coins.
I was watching the History Channel earlier with a piece of the SS Central America wreck. The finders that raised the 1857 gold took ten years in court fighting 30 some insurance companies to claimed they had paid out claims for the losses.
The company that brought up similiar treasure....only dated a little later than this one, ultimately got 92% of the value!