First Public Exhibit of $40 Million of Recently Recovered “Ship of Gold” Treasure
January 29, 2018
1857-S Double Eagle
Rainbow Double Eagle - This 1857-S Double Eagle recovered from the SS Central America in 2014 has spectacular toning after 157 years at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. PCGS Co-Founder David Hall declared: "I've never seen a gold coin like this in over 50 years of being involved in numismatics." Photo credit: Christina Good/Professional Coin Grading Service

The unparalleled SS Central America Ship of Gold exhibit has docked with $40 million of glittering "new cargo" sunken treasure in booth area #913 at the February 2018 Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectible Expo.

This is the first public display of historic gold and silver coins, gold ingots and unopened sacks of treasure gold dust recovered during the 2014 expedition to the Atlantic Ocean site where the Gold Rush-era cargo was lost at sea 161 years ago.  The California Gold Marketing Group LLC acquired the never-before-publicly exhibited treasure in a court-approved transaction this past November, and is publicly displaying the legendary trove for the first time.

SSCA tragedy headline
The headlines on the September 19, 1857 edition of the New York Herald capture the horror of the SS Central America tragedy. The entire front page of the paper, with stories about the calamity, is displayed in the Ship of Gold exhibit. Photo credit: Donn Pearlman

"The story of the SS Central America, its cargo, its lost passengers and crew and its survivors is a historic moment in American history, and the recovered items are a time capsule of the great California Gold Rush," said Dwight Manley, managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group.  "For insurance purposes, we’ve estimated the display's value at $40 million, but these extraordinary treasures are priceless."

A 280-foot long, three-masted side-wheel steamship, the SS Central America was carrying tons of California gold that had been shipped from San Francisco to Panama when she sank in a hurricane during a voyage from Aspinwall (now Colón), Panama to New York City in September 1857.  The shipwreck site and the gold were initially discovered more than 7,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean in September 1988.

Ship display
Ship of Gold exhibit - The popular Ship of Gold exhibit returns to the February 2018 Long Beach Expo with the first public display of $40 million of the California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure recovered from the SS Central America in 2014. Photo credit: Donn Pearlman

Housed in a 40-foot long re-creation of the famous ship’s hull, the Ship of Gold exhibit originally debuted at the February 2000 Long Beach Expo to display a portion of the vast treasure from the first SS Central America recovery operations in the late 1980s.  The exhibit subsequently was seen over the years by millions of people across the United States and overseas.

Recovered coins in tubes
These are some of the more than 3,100 gold and 10,000 silver coins recovered from the SS Central America in 2014 that were placed in storage tubes and sealed in 38 containers. This photo was taken on January 10, 2018 at PCGS headquarters when the first container was opened soon after ownership of the fabled treasure was formally granted to the California Gold Marketing Group. Photo credit: Christina Good/Professional Coin Grading Service

This latest display showcases many of the 3,100 gold coins, more than 10,000 silver coins and 45 gold ingots that have been held in secure vaults since they were retrieved from the ocean floor four years ago.  All the coins have now been certified by Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) using the new PCGS Gold Shield™ service.

"The exhibit also includes a type of historic SS Central America items never before displayed: leather satchels filled with more than 1,000 ounces of gold dust that were recovered from a safe on the sunken ship!," exclaimed Manley.  The gold dust is contained in the original pokes, hand-sewn sacks that remained sealed since 1857 or earlier.

Bob Evans and Dwight Manley
Bob Evans (left) and Dwight Manley on January 10, 2018 at PCGS headquarters in California are shown carefully opening the first of 38 sealed containers of SS Central America treasure that were in secure storage in Florida since June 2014. Photo credit: Christina Good/Professional Coin Grading Service

Robert D. Evans, the chief scientist on the 1980's mission that first located and recovered a portion of the fabulous sunken treasure and who assisted with the 2014 recovery, will be at the exhibit each day during the show to meet with visitors.

On January 9, 2018, the California Gold Marketing Group received court approval and formally took possession of the treasure recovered from the SS Central America in 2014.  It had already been transported from Florida to the Professional Coin Grading Service headquarters in California, but remained in 38 unopened containers that were sealed in June 2014.

Manley and Evans promptly began opening the sealed containers this past January 10, and started the careful process of examining, curating and cataloging the trove, one historic piece of treasure at a time.  Now you have the opportunity to see the amazing Gold Rush-era treasure in person!

For additional information, including the schedule of events and a list of attending dealers, visit online at www.LongBeachExpo.com, call the Long Beach Expo at 888-743-9316 or email at [email protected]