By Greg Cohen, Professional Numismatist & Consignment Director, U.S. & World Coins. Based on the description by James McCartney, Numismatist & Cataloger.
In September, 1857, the side-wheel steamer, S.S. Central America, laden with freshly minted gold coins (primarily $20 double eagles) and other relics of the gold fields was caught in a hurricane off the coast of South Carolina, while making its way up the Atlantic en route from Panama to New York. The ship sank to the ocean floor and her precious cargo never made it to New York, exasperating the already weak economy. This week’s highlight from our New York Rarities Sale, being held on May 20, 2015 at Sotheby’s Galleries, comes from this recovered treasure.