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Adam Crum and the Ship of Gold Exhibit from Long Beach
By CoinTelevision

A decade after its first appearance, the precedent-setting “Ship of Gold” display showcasing California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America was again docked in Long Beach, California.

The $10 million exhibit was publicly displayed during the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo in February, marking its 10th anniversary.

“The ‘Ship of Gold’ exhibit is out of dry dock” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman. “The eye-opening display on the convention center floor is housed in a specially-constructed 40-foot long representation of the famous ship’s hull. This will be the first public appearance of the ‘Ship of Gold’ exhibit anywhere in the country in six years.”

The exhibit is courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach and involved months of work to coordinate the display with collectors who privately own and now have generously loaned many of the items for the exhibit, according to Adam Crum, Monaco Vice President.

“The ‘cargo’ on display include examples of historic assayers’ ingots as well as San Francisco Mint and California territorial gold coins with a combined value today of over $10 million. One of the highlights is a huge, 662.28 ounce Kellogg & Humbert ingot. Weighing just over 55 troy pounds, it is the fourth largest gold bar recovered from nearly 8,000 feet blow the surface of the Atlantic Ocean where the Central America sank in a hurricane in September 1857 while carrying California gold from Panama to New York City,” said Crum.

There was also one of the 13 recovered octagonal $50 gold pieces produced by the United States Assay Office of San Francisco, and the remains of a wooden cargo box that still contains approximately 110 Double Eagles as they were found on the ocean floor. Many appear to be 1857-S $20 gold pieces, apparently freshly struck at the San Francisco Mint when they were placed in the container for shipping.

Visitors to the exhibit also saw the front pages of three 1857 newspapers that published amazing stories about the shipwreck, the ordeal of survivors and the devastating economic effects created by the loss of the gold.

Bob Evans, the chief scientist on the 1980’s mission by the Columbus-America Discovery Group that located and recovered the fabulous sunken treasure, was also at the Long Beach Expo display each day to meet with visitors and present educational programs about the SS Central America, her cargo, crew and passengers.

The Ship of Gold display was first publicly presented at the February 2000 Long Beach Expo.and has seen by over a million people in half dozen other cities across the country.


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