Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 117

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Lot 1299

Kellogg & Humbert Assayers, Mold KH-03, 48.74 Oz. at 809 Fine, value in 1857 $815.10, Bar #643. Listed in A California Gold Rush History in the original recovery items on page 1009. This bar was recovered with the initial gold found in 1988 from the shipwreck.

This historic gold bar, measuring 99 mm height, 43 mm wide, 22 mm thick, is from the famous treasure recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the S.S. Central America. The total number of ingots recovered from Kellogg & Humbert is 343 of which 69 were melted for production of the $50 Kellogg Commemorative Restrikes. This ingot is from Mold KH-03 and is plated on page 433 of Q. David Bowers' A California Gold Rush History featuring the treasure from the S.S. Central America.

A formidable gold bar, the approximate value of 41 double eagles at the time it was cast and valued by the famed assayers Kellogg & Humbert. As seen on all such gold bars, the top inscription is that of the bar number, unique to each gold bar, in this case No. 643, below is the Assayers name framed within a simple rectangular boxKellogg / & / Humbert / Assayers. It is notable that no location is given, as these bars and their names were well enough known to be valued correctly by anyone likely to see these bars. Below their name in the same large numerical font as the bar number, is the weight, 48.74 oz, below that is .809 Fine. At the bottom of the facing portion of the bar is the value, $815.10. As always, the lower right corner of the face of the bar is cut off and that portion was used (prior to valuation) to determine the fineness and thus the value of the bar itself. On the back of the bar the serial number is stamped again, but using a different font. The usual cooling depression is seen on the back of the bar, pulled from mold KH-03 as seen on several other bars from this shipwreck.

Much of this golden cargo was likely expected in a few days after the sinking of the ship to land in New York Harbor, where the gold could be transported anywhere it was needed. Much of the gold in these bars would probably have ended up in Philadelphia where it could be refined and coined into various gold coins that were needed for international as well as local trade. Instead, the hurricane of September, 1857 had other ideas, swamping the S.S. Central America and sending her and much of her gold to the bottom of the sea. Tragically hundreds of lives were lost in the storm as well. The finding of this shipwreck and subsequent recovery of so much of the gold and various artifacts is one of the greatest discoveries of our lifetimes, and to be able to purchase such a significant portion of this treasure would truly be the dream of many collectors. So if you have longed for a historic and timeless golden artifact from the Central America, then look no further than this lot! Estimated Value $200,000 - UP

Realized $210,000

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