Gold Rush shipwreck coin could sell for $275K

A rare U.S. gold coin recovered five years ago from a world famous California Gold Rush shipwreck, and subsequently named “Supernova” because of its unique, multi-color natural toning, will be offered at auction May 16.
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LINCROFT, N.J. – A rare U.S. gold coin recovered five years ago from a world famous California Gold Rush shipwreck, and subsequently named “Supernova” because of its unique, multi-color natural toning, will be offered by a New Jersey company for the first time in a public auction. The historic coin containing approximately one-ounce of Gold Rush ore is valued at more than a quarter-million dollars.

Named “Supernova” because of its unique, multi-color toning, this California Gold Rush coin struck at the San Francisco Mint in 1857, and lost at sea for 157 years in the sinking of the legendary “Ship of Gold, the S.S. Central America, is expected to sell for a quarter-million dollars or more in New Orleans on May 16, 2019 in an auction conducted by Legend Auctions of Lincroft, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.

Named “Supernova” because of its unique, multi-color toning, this California Gold Rush coin struck at the San Francisco Mint in 1857, and lost at sea for 157 years in the sinking of the legendary “Ship of Gold, the S.S. Central America, is expected to sell for a quarter-million dollars or more in New Orleans on May 16, 2019 in an auction conducted by Legend Auctions of Lincroft, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.

The Double Eagle (U.S. $20 denomination) gold piece was struck in 1857 at the San Francisco Mint. After 157 years in the Atlantic Ocean, it was recovered in 2014 from the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the S.S. Central America, which sank in a hurricane off North Carolina in September 1857.

It now will be offered through Legend Rare Coin Auctions (www.LegendAuctions.com) of Lincroft, New Jersey in an auction online and live in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 16, 2019.

“Its magnificent colors were so overwhelming that my hands started shaking when I first held the coin. This is by far the best naturally toned gold piece I have ever seen,” stated Legend Auctions President Laura Sperber.

Graded Mint State 67 (on the 1-70 numismatic grading scale) by Professional Coin Grading Service, the coin displays a mixture of vibrant red and deep blue hues over much of its lustrous gold surface on the front as well as blue and red toning on the back.

It is expected to sell for at least $275,000, about double the value of similarly graded 1857-dated San Francisco Double Eagles that do not exhibit such multi-color toning, according to Sperber.

The S.S. Central America sank while carrying tons of California Gold Rush coins and gold ingots on a voyage from Panama to New York City. There were 578 passengers and crew onboard, but only 153 survived.

The “Supernova” coin was discovered more than 7,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. It was among piles of gold coins that originally were in boxes of Double Eagles being shipped to New York by San Francisco businesses. The loss of the S.S Central America’s valuable cargo was one of the factors that contributed to the Financial Panic of 1857.

For additional information, contact Legend Rare Coin Auctions at 732-935-1168 or by email at info@LegendAuctions.com.

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