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S.S. Central America Ship of Gold

PCGS is Grading S.S. Central America “Ship of Gold” Coins!

The first gold coins graded from the recent recovery are here!

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Welcome to the PCGS S.S. Central America “Ship of Gold” Project

The History The Exhibit The Coins


The History of the S.S. Central America “Ship of Gold”

The S.S. Central America was a sidewheel steamer that operated between Central America and the eastern coastline of the United States during the 1850s. She was given the nickname “Ship of Gold” for her famous cargo: tons of gold from the San Francisco mint and various other gold coins, ingots, gold dust, and bullion obtained during the California Gold Rush. The sinking of the S.S. Central America in a hurricane on September 12, 1857 has been described as the greatest economic catastrophe in U.S. maritime history, contributing to the Panic of 1857 and leading to a severe recession. Read More...

The S.S. Central America Exhibit

The Ship of Gold Exhibit was proudly on display at the Long Beach Expo: Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectibles Show in February 2018. View the Exhibit now, wherever you are...

The Coins of the S.S. Central America

Ron Guth, President of PCGS CoinFacts:
“The coins of the S.S. Central America are important because one, they’re a time capsule from the period and second, they give collectors an opportunity to own coins from a very famous shipwreck and to buy coins that were completely out of reach.”
David Hall, Co-Founder of PCGS, President of Collectors Universe:
“For PCGS, we’ve been fortunate to be involved in some of the greatest numismatic finds. And of all the numismatic finds, the S.S. Central America gold treasure is certainly the greatest that we’ve ever been involved with.”

The first batch of coins that was recovered and conserved was graded by PCGS in the late 1990s and consisted mostly of 1856-S and 1857-S $20 Liberties. The second batch consists of about 3,100 coins including additional 1857-S $20’s as well as a wide variety of other coins such as $1 Gold pieces, $3 Gold, Quarter and Half Eagles, Eagles, and Territorial Gold. CGMG’s Chief Scientist, Bob Evans, will be exclusively restoring the coins. After conservation, PCGS is grading these important pieces of numismatic history. Read More....

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