SS Central America Shipwreck 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign Type I PCGS AU58
- A superb example of Australia’s second sovereign date!
- One of the finest 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereigns ever offered by Downies.
- Guaranteed to have been recovered from the Shipwreck of the SS Central America – lost in 1857.
- Presented in an official PCGS capsule with a grading certificate.
- The certificate is signed by Bob Evens, Chief Scientist of the expedition that recovered the treasure.
- The capsule also contains gold dust from the wreck of the SS Central America!
- Secure this great Australian rarity – do not delay your order! Click add to cart now!
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The 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign – virtually mint-state!
Underpinned by near mint-state quality, extreme rarity and powerful provenance, this is one of the finest 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereigns ever offered by Downies.
Distinguished by acute detail and substantial Prooflike lustre, this coin is guaranteed to have been recovered from the SS Central America, which was lost off the east coast of the USA in 1857, sinking after hit by a fierce hurricane. This astonishing example is presented in an official PCGS holder with a capsule containing gold dust from the shipwreck. The holder features a Certificate signed by Bob Evans, Chief Scientist of the expedition that recovered the treasure.
The 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign before you is officially graded by leading independent 3rd party coin verifiers PCGS at AU58, but, such is the captivating beauty of this coin, we would argue that it is much closer to mint-state. Either way, there is no doubt that it is among the finest, most important examples of this iconic date we have seen. It is a must-have for the serious Australian collector, but immediate action is essential. Click add to cart now!
For more information on this incredible maritime disaster, see below…
The Wreck of the SS Central America…
Defined by astonishing quality, mesmerising beauty and excessive rarity, the 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign presented here is also distinguished by the most extraordinary provenance one could imagine. Seemingly lost forever in 1857, only to resurface, quite literally, in 2014, this breathtaking Australian Gold Rush coin is a genuine artefact of one of the most significant maritime disasters in recorded history – the Wreck of the SS Central America.
A tragedy of truly epic proportions, the Central America was lost in the Atlantic Ocean on the 12th of September, 1857, off South Carolina on the east coast of the USA. She had left Panama on the 3rd of September, setting sail for New York. Aboard were 477 passengers and 101 crew, along with an incredible ten tons of gold – mostly gold bars, but also thousands of gold coins. That astonishingly valuable cargo – worth USD$765 million at 2021 prices – was the product of the Californian Gold Rush, and had travelled by ship from San Francisco to Panama City, then by rail to Colón, where it was loaded upon the Central America.
On the 9th of September, the worst hurricane to hit the USA in the 19th century engulfed the treasure-laden sidewheel steamer. Fierce 170km/h winds shredded her sails, she began taking on water, and, after the crew tried but failed to restart the boilers in the eye of the storm, the second half of the hurricane hit and her fate was sealed. The contemporary publication, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, described the scene…“Suddenly the ship, as if in an agony of death itself, made a plunge, her interior gave one gigantic death-rattle, the next instant disappeared, leaving human beings floating in darkness upon the fathomless ocean.”
Of the 578 people on board, 425 were condemned to a watery grave, along with the entire cargo of gold. The loss of the gold devastated confidence in the US economy. New York banks had been desperately awaiting the arrival of the gold aboard the Central America, and its loss helped spark the Panic of 1857. Due to the invention of the telegraph by Samuel Morse in 1844, this was the first financial crisis to spread rapidly across the USA, and, such was its magnitude, it led directly to the first truly global financial crisis.
A unique, rare, genuine artefact of this earthshaking catastrophe, lost to the murky depths for more than 150 years, the 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign presented here is one of the finest we have offered in nearly 90 years in the industry.