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    Shipwreck Gold

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    Shipwreck Gold from JM Bullion

    Some of the most valuable gold available from JM Bullion doesn’t come from the modern coinage at the United States Mint, but rather, comes from the depths of the ocean. JM Bullion has a limited range of Shipwreck Gold, representing products that were salvaged from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and the wreck of the S.S. Central America in 1857. Learn more about our Shipwreck Gold products on this category page.

    What is Shipwreck Gold?

    In this case, the shipwreck gold carried by JM Bullion is gold that was actually salvaged from the wreck of the S.S. Central America. The S.S. Central America sank off the coast of the Carolinas in September 1857 carrying more than 30,000 pounds of gold destined for New York City and US banks along the East Coast. The wreck of the S.S. Central America was discovered 7,000 feet beneath the waves on September 11, 1988, and in the time that followed, the gold ingots and coins that went down with the ship 130 years earlier were recovered by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

    What Kinds of Shipwreck Gold Exist?

    The loss of the S.S. Central America was not just devastating in terms of lives lost, but also in terms of financial loss. More than just the value of the ship, the S.S. Central America was carrying 30,000 pounds worth of gold ingots and US Eagle gold coins. These gold ingots and coins were a result of the California Gold Rush. The ingots had been assayed in San Francisco by Kellogg & Humbert, while the gold coins were struck by the San Francisco Mint in the denominations of the US Eagle. Examples of this gold include:

    • Kellogg & Humbert Gold Ingots – these gold ingots were raw gold bars that had been assayed by Kellogg & Humbert in San Francisco and were intended for banks in New York City. Each bar has stamped inscriptions that include its weight, purity, a serial number, and even the determined face value of the bar in 1857 dollars. Having rested on the ocean floor for more than 130 years, these bars have the patina of age that can only come from 130 years submerged in saltwater.
    • US Eagle Gold Coins – along with the gold ingots, the S.S. Central America sank with US Eagle Gold Coins that had been onboard the ship. These coins were struck by the San Francisco Mint.
    • Double Pinch – perhaps the most unique item available in the Shipwreck Gold category is Central America Double Pinch Gold. These gold flakes are housed inside of a capsule and are certified by the PCGS as having originated from gold that was recovered from the wreck of the S.S. Central America. The term double pinch comes from the Gold Rush Era when miners would head into town for supplies or a drink at the local saloon. When a miner didn’t have money, he might ask for a double shot of whiskey and pay with a double pinch of raw gold, which was accepted at the time given the value of, and intense interest in, gold.

    Impact of the S.S. Central America Wreck

    When the S.S. Central America became disabled in the midst of a hurricane on September 9, 1857, it was only a matter of time before the ship would be lost. Water had swamped the engine rooms of the sidewheel steamer, putting out the fires in its engines and disabling the ship. Two days later, it was overwhelmed by the waves and sank with its gold bullion load that was estimated at around $8 million in 1857 dollars. To put that in perspective, a sinking of this type in 2021 would have resulted in a loss of roughly $625 million based on current gold prices.

    The gold aboard the S.S. Central America was destined for banks along the East Coast, particularly in New York City. The loss of the gold intended for those banks caused the Panic of 1857, one of the world’s first international financial crises. In the aftermath, Americans swamped banks in an attempt to get hard currency assets. Most American banks did not recover until after the Civil War.

    Investing in Shipwreck Gold from JM Bullion

    If you have any questions about Shipwreck Gold at JM Bullion, please feel free to ask. JM Bullion customer service is available at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address. Please don’t hesitate to visit our Payment Methods page for quick-and-easy answers to your common questions regarding acceptable payment methods.